The controversial Hours of Service regulations that were instituted in July 2013 are now up for debate. After a controversial reception from many in the trucking industry, the Senate is currently debating whether to revert to the 82-hour work week that was previously in place. The amendment is being sponsored by Maine Senator Susan Collins. She is echoing the trucking industry’s complaint that the rule’s requirements for scheduled rest breaks at night are forcing more drivers to take the wheel during more congested daytime hours. She argues that while the law’s consequences may have been unintentional, many were not in the best interest of public safety or efficient service.
The proposed amendment would accompany a larger transportation funding bill that would also have to be passed by the Senate and House.
According to the American Trucking Association, regulators failed to do sufficient research when they established the updated Hours of Service rules. A recent article in Bloomberg News states that trucking groups were most upset by the aspect of the law that forced drivers to take a 34-hour break from driving, which also requires two consecutive days of staying off the road between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Opponents to the proposed amendment argue that there’s nothing in the rules that forces drivers to be on the road during rush hour. Additionally, many companies have already revised their transportation plans to accommodate the 70-hour maximum, making it a non-issue. Anne Ferro, head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, added that reversing the rules would punish those companies who followed directions and reward those who skirted the new regulations.
When you’re choosing a carrier, take a close look at their CSA scores. They’re a solid indicator of how serious they are about their commitment to safety and compliance. At CCC, we consistently rank in the 98th percentile of CSA metrics. How does your transportation partner measure up?