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Trucking | Hours of service

Bill would halt new HOS ‘restart’ restriction until further study

November 6, 2013

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Washington – Legislation introduced in the House Oct. 30 would put on hold new restrictions on when commercial truck drivers can “restart” their weekly maximum driving hours – until an independent study is conducted.

The bill would direct the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s rationale behind including the restart restrictions in its hours-of-service rule, which went into effect July 1. Since that date, truck drivers have been limited to once-a-week use of a previously unrestricted 34-hour rest period option to reset their weekly maximum driving hours, with two mandatory periods of rest between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

“When [FMCSA] went ahead with its changes to the restart rule, it did so without waiting for essential research to be completed,” Bill Graves, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations – which originally opposed the changes – said in a press release. “This bill would simply do what should have been done in the first place: delay implementation until we really know the true operational impacts, costs and safety benefits.”

At press time, the bill had been referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

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