New safety considerations that affect all truckers

Since logistics is such a large and necessary industry to our economy, it is under constant scrutiny by the government and the companies that employ truck drivers are also looking to be as efficient as possible. Recent regulations have come into question however about how much time off is safe for drivers and this could be a huge deal.

The report language from the omnibus bill says: “Section 133 suspends a portion of the hours-of-service regulation unless the [secretary of transportation] and the Inspector General find that the final report meets all statutory requirements and establishes improved outcomes.”

But the final bill did not reflect the restart provisions of the HOS regulation that went into effect July 1, 2013, and instead suspends an aspect of the HOS rule, non-date specific.

“The impact of the omission is that if the congressionally directed study shows that there were not safety and other benefits to the restart restrictions, then the entire restart – the ability to take a 34-hour rest and reset your weekly clock – goes away,” the ATA spokesman said. “We are working with lawmakers to reach a solution that keeps America’s freight moving safely and efficiently.”

“The glitch in the legislative language has the potential to put this safety rule at risk,” the spokesman added.

The law had been intended to address only the 34-hour restart having to do with the consecutive 1 a.m.-to-5 a.m. rest periods and that it be limited to once a week. Those regulations have been suspended since enactment of a fiscal 2015 funding bill. 

The secretary’s directive would result in relying on the rolling recap of weekly work limits of 60 hours in seven days and 70 hours in eight days.    


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