By Steve Patterson
PAULSBORO, N.J., (CBS) — Several local lawmakers want to ensure the roads remain safe in wake of recent deadly crashes, including the accident that left actor and comedian Tracy Morgan critically injured (See Previous Stories).
Eyewitness News reporter Steve Patterson reports from Paulsboro, New Jersey with more on new legislation making its way through the Senate.
“No driver should be up that late. You should get your rest,” truck driver Johnny Goodine said.
Johnny Goodine says he’s a good driver.
“I like it the way it is now. But they shouldn’t push it any more, because you got people trying to make money and that’s going to get them killed or somebody else,” he said.
A lot of drivers would like federal regulations relaxed, which is exactly what’s on the table right now in Washington.
“The whole idea is to put bread on the table and in order to put bread on the table, sometimes it takes a little bit more,” truck driver Azrikam Yisrael said.
Earlier this month, a Senate Subcommittee voted to relax current weekly regulations for truckers from a 70 hour work week before a long break, back to pre-July 2013 levels, when drivers could go 82 hours.
But what a difference a month makes.
“We are fighting back against those who want to allow truckers to drive longer with less rest and ultimately put the general public at risk,” New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez (D) said.
Menendez was in Camden Monday announcing plans to prevent that rollback by introducing amendments to a transportation funding bill, along with Senator Cory Booker.
“We’re not trying to install new laws. We’re just simply trying to protect the laws that exist,” Menendez said.
The fight comes after an accident on June 7th when a limo-van carrying actor Tracy Morgan was struck by a WalMart truck, injuring Morgan and killing his friend (See Previous Story).
A criminal complaint alleged driver Kevin Roper went 24 hours without sleeping when he struck the vehicle. He’s since been charged with vehicular homicide. CBS 3 has learned Roper pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Meanwhile Tracy Morgan continues to show signs of improvement. On Monday night, Morgan’s publicist released a statement on his condition:
“Happy to pass along that Tracy has been upgraded to fair condition, which is a great improvement. His personality is certainly starting to come back as well.
Also, Jeff Millea’s family shared that he has been upgraded to fair condition as well.”
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