A letter signed by 51 members of congress was sent to Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx last week that expressed their “continued deep concern about the recent Hours of Service (HOS) final rule.” The letter went on to describe the ruling as “counter to a commonsense approach to regulation.”
In the letter, some problems with the HOS rulings are detailed. The changes “strictly limit the use of the 34 hour reset provision…, mandate inflexible rest periods, greatly decrease driver flexibility, and raise costs for the already over-burdened trucking industry.” The costs, the letter goes on to say, will be to the tune of “up to $376 million annually,” not even counting the additional costs that will be passed on to every American consumer.
As part of the MAP-21 act, the FMCSA was responsible for conducting “statistically valid” field studies that would prove that the proposed changes to HOS rules would result in safer drivers, fewer accidents, and most importantly, fewer fatalities by March 31st, 2013 at the latest. This was to be a prerequisite for the implementation of the new HOS rules on July 1st. However, despite not completing any such study, the FMCSA went ahead and approved the rule changes. Or as the letter put it, the changes were “enacted without the completion of a field study and subsequent report legally required by congress.”
The letter ends with an iron fist in a velvet glove saying, “Thank you in advance for your prompt and thorough response by September 12th, 2013. We look forward to working with you to better our nation’s transportation system while properly balancing costs and benefits of federal regulations.”
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