Sen Booker: Truckers should be paid by hour

Sen. Booker introduces bill to have truck drivers paid by the hour and not by the mile to improve safety.

Sen. Booker introduces bill to have truck drivers paid by the hour and not by the mile to improve safety. (7/21/15)

EDISON - Sen. Cory Booker says it is time to change federal law so that trucking companies have to pay their drivers an hourly wage instead of getting paid by the mile.

The idea for change comes after a major tractor-trailer accident on the New Jersey Turnpike last year critically injuring actor-comedian Tracy Morgan. The truck driver involved in that accident admitted to being awake for 24 hours when he struck Morgan's limo. Fellow comedian Jimmy Mack was killed in the accident.

Under the current model, drivers earn more money for longer hauls. However, Sen. Booker says driver exhaustion, brought on by pushing the limits will only cause more accidents.

Truck drivers who spoke with News 12 New Jersey had mixed feelings about the proposed changes.

"The rate would have to be pretty good...in order for us to make a decent living," says driver Cedrick Brothern. "That's how we make our living, off the miles."

Sen. Booker is also calling for insurance reform and more safety devices on big rigs.

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