Bill Would Turn Back Clock On HOS Provision

HOS Exemptions

A new bill, presented by three members of the House of Representatives, would turn back the clock on HOS by temporarily reversing the one of the newest changes to HOS that went into effect on July 1, 2013.

The bill, H.R. 3413, entitled the “True Understanding of the Economy” and Safety Act or the “True Safety Act,” was written by New York Representative Richard Hanna, South Carolina Representative Tom Rice and Maine Representative Mike Michaud, would reverse the 34-hour restart provision.

The authors of the bill say they would like to see the 34-hour restart provision overturned until an independent study could be done on the provision’s necessity. The representatives say that the new rule has created a hardship for drivers. They noted that trucking is “the lifeblood of the American economy.”

The bill states that drivers should be allowed to operate under the 34-hour restart rule that was in place before the July 1, change and that the Government Accountability Office should conduct an independent assessment of the FMCSA’s methodology that was used to come up with the 34-hour restart rule.

In addition, the bill would prohibit the FMCSA from applying a new restart rule if the independent study results are in contradiction to the FMCSA’s findings.

A recent study by ATRI stated that the changes to HOS cost the trucking industry $376 million.

“When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration went ahead with its changes to the restart rule, it did so without waiting for essential research to be completed,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “This bill would simply do what should have been done in the first place: delay implementation until we really know the true operational impacts, costs and safety benefits.”

“We had hoped FMCSA would’ve listened to reason when we asked them to delay initially, but we hope they’ll listen to Congress and rethink these changes,” Graves said. “We appreciate Reps. Hanna, Rice and Michaud for their important work in this area.”

“While only in effect for four months, the rule is already causing significant disruption in the trucking industry. ATA member Schneider National, for example, reported that while productivity has slipped 3-4%, there’s been little change in the fleet’s safety performance and an increase driver dissatisfaction,” the American Trucking Association stated.