Friday, June 22, 2018

New HOS reform bill introduced in Congress

A new bill introduced in Congress on Friday aims to provide some very narrow reforms to the hours-of-service regulations that would mostly benefit short-haul operations. The bill – called the Honest Operators Undertake Road Safety or HOURS Act – was introduced by Arkansas Republicans Rep. Rick Crawford and Rep. Bruce Westerman, and Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga. Its main provisions would exempt drivers hauling livestock or agricultural products from the HOS rules within 150 air miles of the source of their load. It would exempt short-haul trucking operations from the ELD mandate if they operate exclusively within 150 air-miles of their reporting location and complete their work day in 14 hours. Additional components would require drivers to only verify the start and end time of their daily on-duty period and push the FMCSA to speed up changes to the split-sleeper berth rule. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association finds aspects of the new legislation puzzling. However, the Association is also supportive of efforts to reform HOS, something OOIDA has been working toward since February. The ATA-backed bill follows two efforts launched earlier this year, led by OOIDA, seeking to reform hours of service. Countering a trend of increasing rigidness in regulations that subsequently are not improving the crash rates on the highways, OOIDA filed a petition in February calling for a reform of the hours-of-service regulations. The Association submitted the formal petition on Feb. 13, with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Deputy Administrator Cathy Gautreaux. Administrator Ray Martinez had yet to be confirmed by the Senate at the time of the petition. OOIDA’s petition targets the 14-hour on-duty clock and the 30-minute rest break...MORE

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