Trucking industry applauds Senate Committee action to fix the HOS restart rule

June 11, 2014

National Tank Truck Carriers Inc was among the trucking industry groups commending the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 5 for adopting a solution proposed by Sen Susan Collins (R-ME) to address the unjustified changes to the restart provisions of the hours-of-service restart rules.

The Collins Amendment would suspend for a year the new restart rules that push more trucks onto the road during daytime hours, a consequence the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration failed to fully analyze from a safety standpoint.

“Obviously, we’re very happy with today’s action by the Senate Appropriations Committee with its passage of the Collins Amendment that offers temporary relief to the entire trucking industry if ultimately passed into law,” said NTTC Chairman Dean Kaplan. “The rare display of bipartisanship is particularly refreshing given its notable absence of late inside the Beltway. A great deal of credit is due Sen Collins and to the professionals at the ATA and the many other stakeholders that worked together to build broad-based support for this initiative.”

NTTC President Daniel R Furth, added: “From a safety standpoint, the amendment is a big step in the right direction and recognizes the unjust hardship imposed on the trucking industry from a rule which puts more trucks on the road at the wrong time. As Sen Collins noted, it is unfortunate that FMCSA failed to conduct the proper research and analysis of the safety impacts of moving so much truck traffic to the morning hours. The Senator’s amendment gives the agency an excellent second chance to perform the necessary due diligence that should be the basis for any federal rulemaking.”

ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said: “Since these rules were proposed in 2010, ATA has maintained that they were unsupported by science and since they were implemented in 2013 the industry and economy have experienced substantial negative effects as a result. Today, thanks to Sen Collins’ leadership, we are a step closer to reversing these damaging, unjustified regulations.”

ATA Chairman Phil Byrd said: “America expects its freight to be moved, and these new rules prevent some drivers from taking a restart over the weekend. As a result, they need to take their restart midweek leading to shipping delays and costs. And if you’re fortunate enough to be able to take your restart over a weekend, it exacerbates congestion because this regulation dumps concentrated amounts of trucks on the highway system at 5:01 am Monday morning when America is heading off to work and school.”

Dave Osiecki, ATA executive vice president and head of national advocacy, cautioned: “This is not the end of this debate, but thanks to the hard work of ATA’s members, the professional staff, ATA’s federation partners, and the courage and leadership of Sen Collins and others on Capitol Hill, we are one step closer to reversing these damaging regulations.”

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said: "We thank Sen Collins and the supportive members of the committee for their work on this important amendment. 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. The agency (FMCSA) cannot simply regulate based upon guesses. "And it should not make a regulatory decision and then create data after the fact that supports the decision. Sadly, the problems with the hours-of-service rulemaking are common within the FMCSA and we hope that today's vote is a sign that Congress will be taking a deeper look into the way the agency conducts its business."