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34 Hour Restart Suspended

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The past week has been an interesting one in the world of trucking and has resulted in the suspension of two provisions of the FMCSA’s controversial Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. The two rules being suspended are the provision requiring a drivers’ 34-hour restart to include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods and the provision limiting the use of a 34-hour restart to once per week. The rule will be suspended until September 30, 2015.

Update: December 17:

The final decision is here! Late last night, President Obama signed the bill that officially suspends the 34-Hour Restart. Effective immediately, carriers no longer have to include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods and the once-per-week limit, previously included in the Hour of Service regulations.

The FMCSA is now tasked with studying the impact Hours of Service has on drivers, carriers and safety and they must present a report to Congress with the result that the provisions boost safety if they are to go back in effect.


History of the Bill

The provisions were sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and included as part of a $1.1 trillion funding bill also called the “Cromnibus Bill” that funds most of the government through next September. The bill passed Congress on December 12 and the Senate on December 13. According to Overdrive Magazine, the bill now heads to President Obama for approval. He is expected to sign the bill and the FMCSA will immediately suspend Hours Of Service once he signs.

Reaction from the Transportation Industry

The American Trucking Association (ATA), Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) all support the suspension of Hours Of Service regulation, but according to Transport Topics, Anthony Foxx, the head of the Department of Transportation (DOT) expressed concern over the suspension and urged Congress not to include the amendments in the bill.

Apex will continue to post developments on this story.

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