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Another Study, More Speculation

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Another Study, More Speculation

A few days before the GAO and FMCSA released conflicting reports on CSA, the FMCSA was met with criticism for its findings following a study indicating the agency’s current hours-of-service rule is more effective at combating fatigue, a conclusion that trucking groups and several members of Congress immediately disputed.

The final 2011 hours rule, which became effective July 1, requires a driver’s restart to be at least 34 consecutive hours and include two periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

The study, conducted by the Sleep and Performance Research Center, Washington State University and Pulsar Informatics Inc., looked at 106 commercial drivers employed by three carriers providing 1,260 days of data, driving a total of more than 414,000 miles from January to July 2013.

FMCSA said the study concluded that drivers who began their workweek with just one nighttime period of rest exhibited more lapses of attention, reported greater sleepiness and showed increased lane deviation, compared with the two nights of rest in the updated 34-hour restart break.

American Trucking Associations (ATA) said what the study doesn’t say may be as significant as what it does say.”While the study includes some findings favorable to certain portions of the new restart rule, the incomplete nature of the analysis and the lack of justification for the once-weekly use restriction is consistent with the flawed analyses that led the agency to make these changes in the first place,” said Dave Osiecki, ATA executive vice president and chief of national advocacy.

According to ATA, the study failed to evaluate the safety implications of putting more trucks on the road during daytime hours, when more passenger vehicles are also on the road.

Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.), one of three members of Congress who in October introduced legislation to delay the start of the restart provision, said the study “does not offer an accurate representation of truck drivers’ alertness.”

”When implementing a regulation that would trim back millions of truck drivers’ work hours, impact product delivery time and affect emergency relief time in instances of national disasters, I would have expected FMCSA to have used a sample size of far greater than 106 truckers,” Rice said.

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Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Suite 185
Little Rock, AR 72201

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  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
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You are here: Home News In Brief Another Study, More Speculation