New Bill Would Extend HOS Suspension for Truckers
June 30, 2015
A new bill that has just been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee proposes extending the hours-of-service (HOS) suspension that Congress put in place in December 2014.
This bill, which is a DOT-funding bill, specifically would allow the current HOS suspension to remain in place as long as the findings of an ongoing FMCSA study on this suspension reveals that the stricter HOS rules imposed in 2013 offer no safety benefits.
While this is one potentially controversial aspect of this bill that regulators are likely to take issue with, there are other potentially hot-button issues included in this bill that may trigger backlash from truckers and the trucking industry – namely that the FMCSA will have deadlines for:
- Instituting a Final Rule to mandate the use of electronic logging devices on heavy trucks
- Proposing a rule that would mandate the use of speed limiters on heavy trucks.
A Closer Look at the Bill’s Potential Impacts
This bill, if eventually passed by the Senate and the House and then signed into law by President Barack Obama, could end up specifically:
- Continuing the suspension of the requirement of the 34-hour restart period for HOS regulations
- Require the FMCSA to publish its Final Rule regarding the new mandate for electronic onboard records (EOBRs, e-logs, or ELDs) on trucks within 60 days of the bill being signed into law
- Require the FMCSA to publish its proposed rule regarding a requirement for speed limiters in heavy trucks within 60 days of the bill being signed into law
- Granting the DOT a $55 billion spending package for 2016.
Ultimately, these updates to federal trucking regulations (if enacted) could mean that trucking companies have to invest in adding EOBRs – and possibly soon even speed limiters – on their heavy trucks in order to remain in compliance.
As more news about these possible changes to federal trucking regulations become available, we’ll report the latest updates to you here in our blog. Until then, please share your thoughts and opinions about this bill, as well as its possible impacts, with us on Facebook & Google+.
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Categories: Truck Accidents