Independent truckers back HOS rest bill
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which represents the country’s small trucking operations, has thrown its support behind a bill introduced by Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, that will improve the rest period under the federal government’s hours-of-service (HOS) regulations.
The Responsible and Effective Standards for Truckers Act, or REST Act (H.R. 5417), would allow truck drivers to take one rest break per shift, for up to three consecutive hours. This single off-duty period would not be counted toward the driver’s 14-hour, on-duty allowance. In addition, the bill would not extend the total allowable drive time limits.
Todd Spencer, acting president and chief executive officer of OOIDA, said Babin’s legislation would “address the lack of options for truckers trying to safely operate under today’s overly rigid federal regulations. We want to see improvements to highway safety, and what we have right now isn’t going to get that done.”
OOIDA recently petitioned the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to improve HOS, by making the regulations less complex and more flexible to individual drivers. The association said current HOS regulations jeopardize truck drivers’ safety.
“Truck drivers’ schedules are at the mercy of shippers, receivers, weather, congestion, and other obstacles, to operate safely,” Spencer said in a statement. “We are in a situation where we have never had more regulations and greater enforcement and compliance with those regulations. Yet, crash numbers are going in the wrong direction, it’s time for a new approach.”
By Chris Gillis – American Shipper