House Passes Hours-of-Service Provision in Omnibus Appropriations Bill

HOS LowContinuing on our lucky streak this week, the U.S. House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee passed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) hours-of-service 34-hour restart study.

According to the letter (to which IWLA is a signatory), “the 2015 ‘CR-omnibus’ appropriations bill required FMCSA to conduct a rigorous examination of the efficacy of the changes to the hours-of-service 34-hour restart provision with regard to its operational, safety, health, and fatigue benefits. Further, it suspended the 34-hour restart provisions while the examination is conducted. The FY 2015 appropriations bill did not, however, require the FMCSA study to demonstrate that the 34-hour restart changes make our nation’s highways safer before they can be reinstated. Fortunately, appropriators in both the House and Senate recognized this need and addressed it in both versions of the 2016 THUD bill.”

The 34-hour restart forced drivers off the road for two periods during the earliest hours of the day, from 1 to 5 a.m. However, despite the government’s intentions, there was very little evidence to prove that these regulations were in fact protecting driver safety. Rather, some argued, that the rules increased traffic during normal commuter hours, making the roads less safe for both commercial and personal drivers.

Now that the provision to conduct a study passed, the industry will finally get our long-overdue data to unequivocally prove that these measures are producing the intended results. Read the letter.

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