Posted by | December 23, 2011 16:59 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

It’s been a busy week for the Obama Administration.  I blogged yesterday about the new mercury standards.  There was a major settlement with Bank of America on discriminatory lending practices.  And there were two new regulations from the Department of Transportation. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) required more rest for truckers:

FMCSA’s new HOS final rule reduces by 12 hours the maximum number of hours a truck driver can work within a week. Under the old rule, truck drivers could work on average up to 82 hours within a seven-day period. The new HOS final rule limits a driver’s work week to 70 hours.

In addition, truck drivers cannot drive after working eight hours without first taking a break of at least 30 minutes. Drivers can take the 30-minute break whenever they need rest during the eight-hour window.

And the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) took a similar action for pilots.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Acting Administrator Michael Huerta today announced a sweeping final rule that overhauls commercial passenger airline pilot scheduling to ensure pilots have a longer opportunity for rest before they enter the cockpit.

These are all the types of actions that the President takes while a Congress crippled by ideology and incompetence dithers.  The year 2012 will have many more actions like this that improve public health and safety.  And despite what Republican candidates say, the vast majority of them are here to stay.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.