Inspector General set to audit 34-hour restart study

By Jami Jones, Land Line managing editor | Friday, February 13, 2015

That study into the 34-hour restart provision won’t be going unchecked. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, made sure of that.

That amendment suspending the changes to the 34-hour restart did a lot more than just mandate that FMCSA conduct a study that compares the original restart provision and the suspended version that required two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. overnight periods and restricted a restart to once every seven days.

The Collins amendment – which was signed into law as part of the giant appropriations bill back in December 2014 – included very specific detail on how the study was to be conducted and mandated oversight of the study.

The Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General has been tasked with reviewing FMCSA’s plan for the study to ensure it’s in accordance with the congressional mandate.

The Collins amendment mandates that the study compare, at a minimum, the five-month work schedules of two groups of drivers: one group running under the original restart provision and one group running under the restart provision with the two overnight periods requirement and restricted to use once every seven days. The study will require electronic log monitoring. It is to assess fatigue levels and alertness as well as driver health outcomes.

The Inspector General is also directed by the Collins amendment to conduct a final review of the study upon completion and will report its findings to Congress within 60 days.

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