Ayotte Introduces Bill to Suspend 34-Hour Restart
December 20, 2013
Sen. Kelley Ayotte, R-N.H., has introduced companion legislation to the House bill aimed at suspending the 34-hour restart provision of the hours-of-service rule.
Ayotte’s bill mirrors one by Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., that would suspend the restart provision pending an assessment by the Government Accountability Office.
Ayotte was joined by Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., as a co-sponsor, said Mary Phillips, senior vice president of legislative affairs at American Trucking Associations.
The bills would put carriers back under the 34-hour restart provision that was in force before July 1 while GAO looks at the methodology the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration used to write the new provision.
GAO would have a year to complete the work. The new provision could not be re-implemented until six months after GAO submits its report to Congress, and only if the study supports the rule.
Ayotte’s bill faces an uncertain outlook in the Senate, according to close followers of the issue.
Trucking interests have been supportive of the Hanna bill, arguing that the restart provision cuts into productivity without improving safety.