WASHINGTON, D.C. – Thirty United States Senators have penned a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) urging them to explore flexible alternative to the current hours of service (HoS) regulations in that country.
Addressed to administrator Raymond Martinez the letter says HOS rules do not provide the appropriate level of flexibility for the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles and calls on the FMCSA to find an alternative that will fit more independent drivers, although it doesn’t make any suggestions for how that might be accomplished.
The letter comes as bill H.R. 5417, The Responsible and Effective Standards for Truckers or the REST Act, sits in committee waiting for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Introduced in March by Texas representative Brian Babin, the bill would allow drivers to take one rest break per day of up to three consecutive hours that wouldn’t count towards their 14-hour on-duty work day.
“We greatly appreciate these lawmakers for their support and for listening to the concerns of our members,” said Todd Spencer, president and CEO of The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).
The organization says the current HoS regulations are overly complex, provide no flexibility, and don’t accurately reflect the needs or limitations of many drivers.
“They force drivers to be on the road when they are tired or fatigued, during busy travel times and adverse weather and road conditions, or when they simply aren’t feeling well,” said Spencer.