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Safety Advocates: Tired Truckers May Be Hauling Fireworks

(Streeter Lecka/ Getty Images)

(Streeter Lecka/ Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Tired truckers may be hauling fireworks to your local 4th of July celebration, thanks to an exemption in federal law.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety general counsel Henry Jasny says he doesn’t want to be a Grinch, but he wants communities that schedule fireworks shows to think twice.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports

“We’re just saying that if you’re going to do it, we want to make sure that the drivers are rested and not tired, and as safe as possible when they’re hauling hazardous materials,” Jasny said.

This is the eighth consecutive year the federal government has granted the exemption on driving rules as a request to the fireworks industry, which says it needs to be able to get over the road from show to show.

Under all other circumstances, truckers are forbidden by law from driving for more than 11 hours in any 14-hour period. But the exemption essentially allows truckers to forgo mandatory in-service rest periods and drive up to 14 hours straight.

The exemption lasts for only seven days, and only affects fireworks haulers, but Jasny says it takes just one fatal fireball to change things.