34-Hour Restart Bill Signed by Congress
The Senate and House passed a bill addressing the 34-hour restart for truck drivers. It now awaits The President’s signature of approval.
How Does 34-Hour Restart Bill Affect Truck Drivers?
The new bill prevents the 2013 requirements of breaks from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. on consecutive days in a 34-hour restart with a once-per-week limit.
Truck drivers now have the ability to use the 34-hour restart as they wish without the weekly limit and will not be required to take consecutive breaks.
Congress enacted the hours of service provision to include the consecutive breaks and restart limit in 2013. It also required a study by the FMCSA to determine if the proposed regulations of 34-hour restarts would be beneficial to drivers or not.
“Drivers have little control over their schedules and the flexibility of the 34-hour restart is necessary to make sure they get needed rest and avoid driving under the worst conditions such as congestion and bad weather,” explained Todd Spencer, OOIDA Executive Vice President.
34-Hour Restarts Almost Eliminated by Congress
This fix to the legislation prevented the elimination of the 34-hour restart which could have been the case because of a mistake in the language of the 2015 bill.
This is an inherent win for the trucking industry as the 2013 HOS provision was widely opposed by many, including the American Trucking Association.
“Thanks to hard work by congressional leaders of both parties and in both chambers, we are one step closer to having an hours-of-service restart rule that makes sense and puts safety first,” said ATA President Chris Spear in a statement.
The House passed the bill by a 326-96 vote and will require President Trump’s approval after January 20 in order to last through the new year.