ARLINGTON, Va. – The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is lauding two members of the U.S. Congress for introducing legislation that will provide more flexibility around Hours of Service (HoS) if passed.
The Honest Operators Undertake Road Safety, or HOURS Act, was introduced by Representatives Rick Crawford, Sanford Bishop, and Bruce Westerman, and would build upon on clarifications to HoS regulations the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has already offered or is considering.
The ATA says since regulations about the mandatory use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) came into effect in December issues surrounding HoS rules have become clear.
“Now that the trucking industry is coming into full compliance with the electronic logging mandate, the next step in improving truck safety and supply chain efficiency is to use the data these ELDs collect to make needed improvements to the underlying hours-of-service rules,” said ATA president and CEO Chris Spear.
The bill calls for HoS exemptions for drivers hauling livestock or agricultural products within 150 air-miles from the source of the load during planting and harvesting seasons – something the FMCSA granted recently.
The bill also calls for harmonization of the HoS rules for short-haul drivers by exempting drivers from ELD requirements if they operate exclusively within 150 air-miles of their reporting location and complete their workday in 14 hours, ending what the ATA calls a two-tiered system.
If passed the legislation would also reduce the amount of supporting documents required by drivers to verify the start and end times of their on-duty periods, and accelerate the FMCSA’s efforts to provide split rest times and flexibility for drivers who take rest periods in sleeper berths.
The ATA calls the proposed changed common-sense relief for drivers that also enhance highway safety and supply chain efficiency.