Today the Department of Transportation announced that they found that the more restrictive Hours of Service regulations implemented in 2013 had no significant safety benefits.
2013 HOS Rules Put More Restrictions On Use Of 34 Hour Restart
The 2013 HOS regulations differed from those currently in effect in that they required the 34 hour restart to include two nighttime (1 a.m. to 5 a.m.) periods. They also limited the number of times a driver could use the 34 hour restart to once every 168 hours.
In 2015, these regulations were rolled back because of concerns that they increased traffic congestion and had other unexpected consequences.
The legislation that rolled back the 2013 HOS regulations also required the DOT to perform a study to determine whether those regulations really offered any safety benefits. In order for the 2013 HOS rules to be reinstated, lawmakers said that the study must provide conclusive proof of their safety benefits.
Study Finds No Safety Benefits For Obama-Era HOS Regulations
Today the DOT announced that “the study did not explicitly identify a net benefit from the use of the two suspended provisions on driver operations, safety, fatigue, and health.”
The announcement could mean that the 2013 HOS rules will be permanently rolled back.
The ATA’s Chris Spear expressed his strong approval of the DOT’s findings: “We knew from the beginning that these Obama administration restrictions provided no benefit to safety, and in light of the DOT’s findings – corroborated by the DOT Inspector General – it is good for our industry and for the motoring public that they will be done away with permanently as specified by language ATA lead the charge on including in the most recently passed Continuing Resolution.”
OOIDA was also pleased with the results of the DOT study. Said Vice President Todd Spencer, “It’s not only common sense, it’s trucker sense. We have always championed the need for flexibility in the hours-of-service regulations so that drivers can drive when rested and avoid times of heavy congestion or bad weather conditions.”