Transportation Company Encourages 15-Hour Workdays for Drivers in D.C.

Target: MV Transportation CEO Carter Pate

Goal: End extended workdays for MetroAccess employees to ensure safe roadways.

MV Transportation, a company that provides a federally mandated paratransit service (MetroAccess) in the Washington, D.C. area, has been notorious for encouraging its employees to work long hours behind the wheel. Most alarming is that some drivers reported working as many as 18 hours over the Thanksgiving holiday. Driving for extended hours leads to dangerous levels of fatigue and puts public safety at risk. MV responded by promising to enforce 15-hour workday limits. Its action is simply not good enough.

Employees are officially scheduled to work 13-hour days with a 1-hour break, but it has become the norm for them to work longer, especially over holidays when staffing is thin. One employee’s timecard showed she worked from 7:20 a.m. until 3:37 a.m. the next day. MV claims it asked employees to voluntarily extend their shifts, but drivers reported receiving unexpected “add-on” trips, which extend their days beyond the 13-hour standard instated over the summer.

At least 87 employees have been filmed falling asleep while driving, even with shorter shifts. It is appalling that MV continues to put the safety of its employees, passengers, and the general public at risk given how many drivers have been caught falling asleep. Federal law limits commercial drivers, who transport 8 or more passengers, to 10-hour shifts, but since MetroAccess falls just below that cutoff at 7 passengers, they are able to escape federal law and informally enforce their own 15-hour cutoffs. There is no question that 15 hours is far too long for employees to be driving.

MV has elected to prioritize financial efficiency over public safety, with its disturbing 15-hour maximum workday. Employees should not be put in situations where they are falling asleep at the wheel. Under current company policy, it is not a matter of “if” an accident will happen, but “when.” Demand that MV enforce shorter workdays and more breaks for its MetroAccess employees.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Pate,

Employees of your company have reported working long days behind the wheel, some driving for as many as 18 hours at a time. This presents an incredible risk to the safety of employees, customers, and the general public. You must mandate shorter work days immediately.

At least 87 employees have been filmed falling asleep while driving, a chilling reality. Under your current company policy, it’s not a matter of “if” an accident will happen, but “when.” Federal regulations limit commercial drivers to 10-hour days. There is no reason why your company should allow employees to drive as many as 15 hours per shift.

Your acceptance of a 15-hour workday is downright disturbing. Clearly, you are prioritizing financial efficiency over public safety. Please change company policy immediately so we have well-rested drivers and safer roadways.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. Kristin Harkness Kristin Harkness says:

    Don’t we all want our roadways to be safe from sleepy drivers? Please sign!

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