Federal agencies Hours of service Trucking

Senate amendment would discontinue HOS changes for a year

Washington – Key changes to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s hours-of-service regulation that went into effect July 2013 would be suspended, pending further research, under a proposed amendment to a Senate appropriations bill.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on June 5 voted 21-9 to approve the amendment, which would suspend a once-per-week restriction on drivers “resetting” their weekly driving hours by taking 34 consecutive hours off. The amendment also would suspend the requirement that the 34-hour restart include two rest periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the amendment, arguing that the HOS restart changes had resulted in unintended safety consequences, such as forcing truck drivers onto the roads during periods of congested traffic.

The amendment would suspend the restart changes for a year while FMCSA conducts further research into the expected safety benefits of the changes.

The appropriations bill next goes to the full Senate for a final vote.