The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute will conduct a federal study to see if truck drivers pose more danger to themselves and others if they are given more freedom with their regulated sleep schedules, reports The Roanoke Times.

By 2008, a change was made to the berth requirement, mandating that truckers spend eight of at least 10 hours in the berth during one period.

“What if I want to take six hours now, and [four] hours later?” said Richard Hanowski, director for the VTTI’s Center for Truck and Bus Safety. “If there’s no impact on safety, why can’t they do it?

“Part of the things we’ll be looking at is what are the impacts, if any?”

The VTTI still has to find the drivers for its study and work out the agreements with them. Therefore, Hanowski said, the actual monitoring part of the study won’t start until at least 2017.

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