Legislation Hours of service Trucking

Senate pulls bill containing driver hours-of-service restart suspension

Washington – A bill that includes an amendment to suspend hours-of-service restart provisions for truck drivers has been pulled from the Senate floor.

The amendment, which was introduced by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 5, sought to suspend (pending further research) a once-per-week restriction on drivers “resetting” their weekly driving hours by taking 34 consecutive hours off. The amendment also would have suspended the requirement that the 34-hour restart include two rest periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

The Senate’s decision to pull the bill on June 19 followed resistance from Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), who has offered an amendment to reverse Collins’ efforts to suspend the restart changes.

“At a time when truck crashes are actually on a rise in the United States of America, it is paramount that Congress do more to improve transportation safety, to improve the protection of lives – not remove an evidence-based element of reform,” Booker said.

Several groups, including the American Trucking Associations, expressed disappointment with the Senate’s decision to pull the bill from the floor. ATA has said Collins’ amendment would improve safety by preventing a high number of trucks from hitting the road after 5 a.m., when many motorists are beginning their commutes.