House committee tells president to leave HOS alone

| Friday, September 30, 2011

The estimated price tag to retool trucking hours-of-service regs has top ranking members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee telling the president to just leave the current regs alone.

A recent report released by the White House listed proposed regulations that cost more than $1 billion, including the proposed hours-of-service regulation. That report got the attention of members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Four top ranking members of the T&I Committee wrote a letter to President Barack Obama, calling for the current hours-of-service regulations to remain in place.

Rep. John Mica, R-FL; Rep. John J. Duncan, R-TN; Sam Graves, R-MO; and Rep. Bill Shuster, R-PA; sent the letter to Obama late last week.

“If finalized, the proposed changes would have a substantial negative impact on the productivity of the $600 billion trucking industry and will quickly result in a drag on the staggering U.S. economy,” the letter states.

The members of the T&I Committee pointed to a lack of evidence that new regulations are even necessary.

“We have not seen any evidence that the current hours-of-service rules, in place now for more than seven years, are unsafe and need revision,” the letter states. “In fact, quite the opposite is true.”

The letter touts the safety record of the industry, pointing out that since the current regs were enacted truck mileage has increased by almost 10 billion miles.

“Most recently, there has been a dramatic reduction in severe and fatal crashes involving large trucks and buses, with a combined 1,497 fewer lives lost between 2007 and 2009,” the letter states. “The current rules are clearly having a positive impact on highway safety.

Calling the proposed regs “unneeded regulation,” the four cautioned Obama that the committee “will aggressively oversee any attempt by the U.S. DOT to impose new regulatory burdens on the trucking industry by making changes to the current hours-of-service rules.”

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