HOURS-OF-SERVICE RESTART RELIEF

CONGRESSIONAL LEADERSHIP AGREES ON FY 2016
GOVERNMENT FUNDING PACKAGE

Trucking Industry Achieves Hours-of-Service Restart Relief

Yesterday, Congressional leaders announced they had reached a long-sought deal on a $1.1 trillion government funding bill for the remainder of fiscal year 2016.  This deal is commonly referred to as the "Omnibus" funding package, which also includes banner news for the trucking industry on the hours-of-service rules.

This language prohibits FMCSA from reinstating the July 2013 restart restrictions [the two consecutive 1:00 am – 5:00 am periods and the 168 hour limitation] unless an FMCSA study finds that these limits result in statistically significant improvements in safety and driver health, among other things.  This Omnibus language is appropriate since FMCSA originally justified the restart restrictions on the speculative theory that they would improve not only truck safety but driver health and wellness.

As it reads, the bill makes it very difficult for FMCSA to justify re-instituting the restart restrictions.  In other words, the basic 34-hour restart rule, with no additional restrictions, will likely remain in place for the predictable future.

While Congressional leaders have negotiated and agreed upon this Omnibus funding package, it must still be voted on by both the House and Senate, and then sent to the President for his signature.  This is expected to happen later this week.

Fritz Mead
VP, Government Affairs and Member Services
703-838-1960