Amendment delaying some HOS rules passes
An amendment to the FY 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill suspending some of the rules in the new hours-of-service guidelines for one year passed through committee by a vote of 29-1.
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the amendment by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Me., Thursday morning as part of the bill, which now must be approved by the full Senate.
Collins is seeking to suspend the rule that drivers can’t operate trucks between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. for two consecutive nights. She also wants to delay the requirement that limits the 34-hour restart to just once a week.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration updated its hours-of-service rules in July.
During the bill markup session, Collins said she introduced the amendment “to remedy some of the unintended consequences that have occurred since changes were made last summer to the hours-of-service regulations.”
She said there has been a lot of misinformation about the bill the amendment does not propose a permanent repeal, and that she has no desire to do that at all. It doesn’t even make changes to most of the rule, she said. For example, the 11-hour maximum driver shift and the 30-minute rest requirement will stay intact. Many of the other requirements are also not touched by the amendment.
“What my bill does do is it provides temporary relief of two provisions of the hours of service regulations … while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducts a comprehensive study to see if these changes are truly justified,” she said.
The amendment, which had been whispered about in the industry for the last week, was widely celebrated by the trucking industry.
“We thank Senator Collins and the supportive members of the committee for their work on this important amendment,” Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, said in a statement. “Truckers have long pointed out the negative impacts of the 2013 changes on their ability to get rest, stay out of busy city traffic, spend time at home, and make a family-supporting income.”
American Trucking Associations President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Graves said Collins’ amendment brings the industry “a step closer to reversing these damaging, unjustified regulations.”
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