Confusion rampant over change to restart provision

By Jami Jones, Land Line managing editor | Thursday, December 18, 2014

History is repeating itself. Anytime there is a change to the hours-of-service regulations road rumor and flat out misunderstanding charge through the trucking industry.

To put it simply, the only part of the hours-of-service regulations that change involves the voluntary 34-hour-restart. The rest of the rules stay intact just as they were before the passage of the mega government funding bill into law this week.

Debbie Johnson, Land Line art director

The changes to the voluntary 34-hour restart came thanks to an amendment introduced by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, into the appropriations bill. The Collins amendment suspends the two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. overnight provisions and the restriction on using the restart once every seven days. The suspension of those two provisions will last while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducts a comprehensive study – with input from the Office of Inspector General – to see if these changes are truly justified.

The agency circulated a notice of enforcement suspension to state law enforcement partners on Wednesday. In the notice, William Quade, associate administrator for enforcement at FMCSA, stated that the suspension of the two overnight provisions and the restriction of use once every seven days became effective on Dec. 16.

In spite of road rumor, the 30-minute mandatory rest break was not eliminated and the 14-hour on-duty clock remains and it cannot be stopped.

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