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Congressmen Press for Completion of 34-Hour Restart Study

August 23, 2013

By Truckinginfo Staff

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A group of congressmen are pressing the Department of Transportation for a firm date to finish a field study on the newly revised 34-hour restart provision of the hours-of-service rule.

Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., and several others are gathering signatures for a letter asking DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx to press the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for action.

The study was mandated in last year’s highway bill at the request of American Trucking Associations, which objects to the provision requiring drivers to take off two periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. during their 34-hour restart.

The study was due before the new HOS rule became final on July 1 but it has not yet been released.

Data collection for the study was finished in July and the final report is expected later this year, said agency spokesperson Marissa Padilla.

ATA says the agency should confirm in the field the finding in a laboratory study that daytime sleep is not as restorative as nighttime sleep.

That finding is the scientific basis for the requirement that a driver take the two nighttime periods off during his restart.

Rep. Hanna, joined by Reps. Tom Rice, R-S.C., Trey Radel, R-Fla., and Todd Rokita, R-Ind., tell Foxx in their letter that the study should have been done before the rule was revised.

“We request that the FMCSA establish and provide to us the date on which the efficacy study required by MAP-21 (the highway law) and full report will be completed and submitted to Congress,” they write.

They want a response by Sept. 12, they said.

Hanna and the others are the sponsors of legislation that would reverse the new hours-of-service rule. They wanted their amendment attached to a transportation appropriations measure, but that bill was withdrawn by House leaders.

Hanna will continue to pursue the amendment, said Renee Gamela, his communications director.

The amendment was supported by 16 trucking and shipping interests, including ATA, OOIDA and UPS, as well as the Transportation Intermediaries Association, the National Retail Federation and the National Grocers Association.

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