Tracy Morgan Crash Raises Questions About Sleep Deprived Truck D - KMSP-TV

Tracy Morgan Crash Raises Questions About Sleep Deprived Truck Drivers

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TRENTON, N.J. -

There are laws that govern how many hours truck drivers are allowed on the roads.

However, many truckers say they've all dealt with lack of sleep.

Fox 29's Chris O'Connell spoke with some truck drivers.

The Tracy Morgan crash has certainly put the spotlight on sleep deprived truck drivers.

Something even truck drivers themselves admit is a big problem.

Along the New Jersey Turnpike, Chris O’Connell spoke truckers who were very candid, telling us, you never know what kind of danger could be in the lane next to you.

"Sometimes you don't, sometimes you pull over. Pushing yourself past that limit that you know you are no longer safe," said truck driver Herbert Lindsay.

Lindsay sees the risk every day on every highway.

“You can see them out there starting to get fatigued, and they'll go from one line to the other and hit the rumble strips," he said.

In trucking, time is money: get to the destination faster, you get paid faster, and on to the next load, tired or not.

"We get paid by the mile. The more miles you run the bigger the paychecks," Lindsay said.

By law truckers are only allowed to drive 70 hours a week, then they are off for 34 hours, including 2 consecutive nights.

According to a criminal complaint, state police, say Kevin Roper may have been up for more than 24 hours before crashing into Tracy Morgan's limo bus Saturday morning.

New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney helped pass Maggie’s Law, which makes it a crime to cause a fatal accident after knowingly getting behind a wheel after not sleeping for 24 hours.

Sweeney wants New Jersey's law to become federal law. Even some drivers think easing off the gas may be a good thing.

"I tell them I'm the most important fright my truck will ever haul. And I’m not going to hurt me. So if i get tired. I'm stopping," said truck driver Harold Cannady.

It's exactly the kind of crimes, the truck driver has been charged with in the crash of Tracy Morgan's limo bus.

Kevin Roper is scheduled for his first court appearance on Wednesday.

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