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Arnold & Itkin LLP Truck Accident Blog2012JanuaryState of Emergency Affects Trucking Routes and Transportation

State of Emergency Affects Trucking Routes and Transportation

Issued on January 17, 2012, a state of emergency was proclaimed by the Washington State governor that heavily affects the transportation of many goods, including perishable milk. This was viewed as an emergency situation due to the perishable state of the milk, which affects the "life, health, property, or the public peace" of the residents in Washington. The proclamation states that the extreme weather condition prohibits drivers of 18 wheelers from completing routes within the allotted hours of service, according to the law. Immediate action is mandatory to prevent a nearly $1 million a day loss. The governor also waived the driver hours of service rules for the time being, which was reinforced on January 22. Lastly, the governor asked the drivers of the trucks that deliver the milk exercise caution and use their best judgment in order to prevent overexertion or fatigue.

While the governor of Washington waived the hours of service rules for a temporary period of time, it can still be dangerous to drive past the ordered hours of operation. If a person drives past the eighth hour and into the tenth, their risk of a truck accident doubles, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The temporary lift on the law only permits those transporting milk to drive past the hours of operation, and any other person driving a commercial truck past these hours may be fined as a result. Driving past the regulated hours of service can be extremely dangerous when truck driver fatigue begins to play a role.

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