Two provisions of the 2013 changes to hours-of-service regulations for truck operators will soon be suspended at least until Sept. 30 of next year and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will be required to further study the rules and their impact before the rules can take effect again.
The order comes after the Senate late Saturday night passed a spending bill already passed by the House that includes a provision to put a stay of enforcement on the federal rules requiring a drivers’ 34-hour restart to include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods and limiting the use of a 34-hour restart to once per week.
President Barack Obama voiced his support for the bill last week and was expected to sign it.
The law also dictates that the FMCSA issue a notice in the Federal Register “as soon as possible” announcing the suspension of the rules in question, which will make the stay of enforcement official.
The law will also require the agency study the restart rules to determine their impacts on safety, health and carrier operations. The study must be overseen and reviewed by the DOT’s Inspector General. The legislation says the two rules suspended will not go back into effect until FMCSA completes the study and can show Congress the rules “provide a greater net benefit for the operation, safety, health and fatigue impacts” than not.