Reps. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Tom Rice (R-S.C.) and Michael Michaud (D-Maine) recently introduced legislation that may put the brakes on the restart provision of the current federal hours-of-service rules until an independent review is conducted.
And the American Trucking Associations (ATA) could not be more pleased, its President and CEO Bill Graves says.
“When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) went ahead with its changes to the restart rule, it did so without waiting for essential research to be completed,” Graves says. “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.”
The said bill, H.R. 3413, would stay FMCSA’s restart changes until the Government Accountability Office completes a full assessment of the data and rationale the agency used in issuing its rule.
A recent study by the American Transportation Research Institute found that the changes FMCSA made to the restart will ultimately have a net annual cost of up to $376 million, rather than the net benefit of $133 million the agency claimed in its rule.
While only in effect for four months, the rule is already causing significant disruption in the trucking industry, officials says. ATA member Schneider National, for example, reported that while productivity has slipped between 3 and 4 percent, there’s been little change in the fleet’s safety performance and an increase driver dissatisfaction.
“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 says. “We appreciate Reps. Hanna, Rice and Michaud for their important work in this area.”
About the American Trucking Association
American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight.