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DOT: No "Net Benefit" from 34-hour Restart Rule Changes

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Last week, the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) office of Inspector General (IG) released a long-awaited study examining potential benefits from the 2013 hours of service (HOS) 34-hour restart changes. Specifically, effective July 1, 2013, the 34-hour restart provision needed to include two night periods between the hours of 1 and 5 a.m. The trucking industry as a whole, including NRMCA, opposed this provision, asserting that it was too burdensome, unnecessary and unproven. To this end, industry banded together to convince Congress to intervene. In late 2014, Congress and the president suspended the new 34-hour restart requirements and commissioned a study to examine whether there was any real benefit to adding the new provisions. While fleshed out over a few subsequent bills, it was mandated that should the study determine that there wasn’t any benefit, DOT would be obligated to vacate the added provisions.

The IG’s report submitted to Congress last week stated that after thoroughly examining the 34-hour restart provisions, the study "did not explicitly identify a net benefit from the use of the two suspended provisions of the restart rule on driver operations, safety, fatigue, and health." Following the report, the agency responsible for enforcing HOS rules, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), announced it will no longer enforce the 2013 restart provisions and the pre-July 1, 2013 34-hour restart provision will remain in effect.

NRMCA welcomes this development; the July 1, 2013 restart provision was an unnecessary, overly burdensome requirement on the ready mixed concrete industry. NRMCA looks forward to continuing to work with FMCSA to further remedy erroneous HOS rules. 
For more information, contact  Kevin Walgenbach at

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