US restart rules one step closer to being postponed

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the US government’s Senate Appropriations Committee has been amending—officially referred to as “marking up”—a US$54.4 billion Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bill, and in the process approving changes to the hours of service (HoS) restart rules.

An amendment to the THUD bill, known as the Collins amendment after its sponsor, US senator Susan Collins, would delay the implementation of the restart rules for one year.

Under the HoS rules which were implemented in 2013, drivers were required to have 34 hours off after hitting the weekly maximum limit of either 70 hours over eight days or 60 hours over seven days. During that 34-hour period, drivers were required to be off the road between 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM on two consecutive days.

Some in the industry, including the American Trucking Association (ATA), objected to the way the restart rule was structured.

“America expects its freight to be moved, and these new rules prevent some drivers from taking a restart over the weekend, and as a result, they need to take their restart midweek leading to shipping delays and costs,” said ATA Chairman Phil Byrd and president of Charleston, S.C.-based Bulldog Hiway Express.

“If you’re fortunate enough to be able to take your restart over a weekend, it exacerbates congestion because this regulation dumps concentrated amounts of trucks on the highway system at 5:01 AM Monday morning when America is heading off to work and school,” Byrd said.

Along with suspending the restart rules for one year, the amendment states the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Department of Transport’s Inspector General would be obligated to study the situation and report back to Congress whether the enforced time-off rules are justified.

Although the amendment has passed, THUD still has to work its way out of committee and pass a floor debate before it is officially approved by the Senate.

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  • I belive that these people who come up with all theses rules have something to do with railroad companys. To me it’s just a new way to put drivers off the road failing too get the freight were it needs to be on time. and that couses companys to not relie on trucking companys, but to call on a train. Lets see how much it will cost to put tracks up next to all theses places in the citys and whos going to pay for it. The next thing susan will ask obama, is for some tax moneys to help fund this job crasher….

  • All it takes is one driver to make one mistake like the Walmart driver in New Jersey and the thousands of drivers that do the right thing goes out the window.

    • You’re right John. The worst is the fear mongering headline of driver awake 24 hours. He was maybe awake for 24 hours but he easily could have been off duty like he was supposed to hours prior and legal on his logs, but didn’t take the chance to actually rest during the off duty or sleeper berth time like assumed is going to happen or does happen with most drivers.