The U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted in May to send the full House a bill that would permanently restore 2011 regulations pertaining to the 34-hour restart provisions of the hours of service requirements.
The provisions would revert restart rules to those in effect in December 2011. A 34-hour restart would not be required to include the two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods, and its use would not be limited to once a week. The 30-minute break requirement would still be in effect, however, and would be the lone remaining element of the hours of service changes that went into effect in July 2013.
The House's hours reform differs from an earlier proposal passed by the full Senate. The Senate bill changes are contingent upon the outcome of a study currently being conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If the agency's study determines 2011 rules are safer for fatigued drivers, then such rules would take effect permanently, but with a new 73 hour limit on weekly hours.
If the House passes its transportation funding bill, the two versions would go to conference to iron out the differences. Industry advocates, including the Arkansas Trucking Association, are working closely with all members of our delegation in support of the House language on hours of service.