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Gov Perdue temporarily waives driving limit on fuel truckers

http://66.225.205.104/JR20100108a.mp3

Governor Bev Perdue has temporarily issued an executive order lifting the limit on how long fuel truckers can drive without taking a break. The Governor wants to make sure people in the mountains get enough fuel for their cars and furnaces during the cold snap. Road safety advocates are worried about drowsy truckers with dangerous cargo. WFAE's Julie Rose reports: Truckers are only allowed to drive 11 hours before taking the next 10 hours off. By executive order, Governor Perdue has removed that cap for truck drivers in the state carrying essential fuels like gas, kerosene and propane. But AAA Carolinas spokesman Brendan Byrnes says the Governor is trading one hazard for another. "We certainly advocate accessible fuel, but not at the expense of motorist safety," says Byrnes. "You've got truckers who are almost always paid per mile and if they can work more hours, they can make more money. Nine times out of ten they're gonna take that chance." A spokesman for Governor Perdue says the highway patrol can still stop truckers they think are driving dangerously. The executive order comes at the request of gas station and convenience store owners who say cold weather has delayed their shipments by several days. The order will remain in effect for the next month - or until road conditions approve in the North Carolina mountains. Read the Governor's executive order.