Trucking industry association calls on Congress to retain HOS restart rule
Washington – The American Trucking Associations is calling on Congress to move forward with legislation that would retain the current hours-of-service restart rule for commercial motor vehicle drivers.
Because of a missing sentence in the most recent Omnibus appropriations bill, the future of the restart rule is in jeopardy, ATA officials stated May 19. Both chambers of Congress would need to approve language to secure the HOS restart rule, and President Barack Obama would need to sign off on the changes. Otherwise, ATA stated, CMV carriers and drivers would have to revert to an older, less flexible compliance method referred to as the “rolling recap.”
On May 19, the Senate approved a transportation funding bill that would preserve the HOS restart rule, with specific details depending on the results of a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The study is intended to determine whether requiring a 34-hour break once a week – including two stints between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. – improves safety or creates additional crash risks during the morning rush hour.
The House Appropriations Committee approved a funding package May 24 that would retain a 34-hour restart without any overnight rest break requirements. At press time, the full House had yet to vote on the bill.
“We have said since the broad framework of the current hours-of-service rules went into effect in 2004 – complying with these rules improves safety,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said in a press release. “The flexibility to take additional rest that the restart provided for a decade, and is providing now, allows drivers to get additional off-duty time and rest, and we shouldn’t be putting restrictions on that – certainly not ones that have been shown to push truck traffic into riskier daytime hours.”
ATA produced a video featuring Dave Osiecki, ATA’s executive vice president and chief of national advocacy, who elaborates on the issues facing the HOS restart rule.