Results of hours-of-service rule studied by feds

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In addition to the five-month study the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is conducting on 2013’s hours-of-service restart rules, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is working on a separate study to identify whether FMCSA’s estimated safety benefits of the 2013 rule — fewer crashes, injuries and deaths — came to fruition in the year and a half the rule was in full effect.

One government agency is studying the work of another.

Dave Osiecki, the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) head of regulatory affairs, last week said the results of the GAO’s study are expected in the coming months. Osiecki and Chris Spears, ATA’s head of legislative affairs, offered a regulatory and legislative update April 24 to trucking and national press, outlining where upcoming trucking regulations stand and making a push for a long-term highway bill.

Osiecki says ATA will continue to push for a permanent suspension of 2013-implemented hours-of-service rule changes, especially those dictating use of a 34-hour HOS restart.

“We believe that [the portion of the rules now suspended] are not as safe as they could be, and we don’t believe they are as safe as the approach in place from 2003-2013,” Osiecki said.

Osiecki also said publication of a final rule to mandate the use of electronic logging devices by truck drivers appears “by all indications” to be on track for its Sept. 30 projection. An e-log mandate, until published, is ATA’s top lobbying priority, Osiecki said.