September 20, 2018

DeFazio Slams PHMSA For Eliminating Meal and Rest Breaks for Truck Drivers Transporting Hazardous Materials

Washington, D.C. – Today, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR) condemned the Trump Administration for a decision to eliminate critical meal and rest breaks enacted by the State of California for truck drivers transporting hazardous materials. In a notice submitted to the Federal Register, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) ruled that “California's meal and rest break requirements are preempted for all operators of motor vehicles transporting hazardous materials.”

“Once again, President Trump is siding with big business over American workers. This decision accommodates companies too cheap to pay overworked truck drivers who need to take a 10-minute rest break or eat lunch. PHMSA and the Trump Administration have chosen expediency for industry – citing a need to stop ‘unnecessary delays’ in transportation - over the safety of the traveling public and higher pay for truck drivers. As a result of this decision, we will see more hungry, tired drivers behind the wheel of massive trucks carrying explosive, hazardous materials. As the Ranking Member, I will do everything in my power to fight this ill-conceived decision,” said DeFazio.

To read PHMSA’s decision in the Federal Register, click here.