The U.S. House Appropriations Committee has voted to send to the full House a Department of Transportation funding package that would permanently restore 2011 regulations pertaining to truckers' use of a 34-hour restart. If adopted, the 34-hour restart would not be required to include the two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods, and its use would not be limited to once a week. However, the 30-minute break requirement would still be in effect, though the bill does not tie the future of hours of service rules to a study currently being conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The bill is contrary to the one passed by the U.S. Senate to ensure that the ongoing FMCSA study dictates the future of hours of service regulations. The House bill would block FMCSA from pursuing the proposed Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) rule to alter the way it rates carriers and determines whether they are safe enough to operate, at least temporarily. The House bill would require the agency to implement widespread reforms to its Compliance, Safety, Accountability program before resuming work on the SFD rule. Finally, the House bill would reassert federal authority over intrastate trucking, preventing state-enacted laws governing trucker breaks from being enforced.
Overdrive (05/24/16) Jaillet, James