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ATA: Misinformation Shouldn’t Block Risk-Reducing Fix for Hours-of-Service Rules

Today, American Trucking Associations leaders called on congressional leaders to reject misinformation put forth regarding truck safety and pass an omnibus appropriations bill that provides needed relief from unjustified and risk-raising regulations. “In July 2013, with insufficient research, analysis and understanding of the consequences, the Obama administration placed two restrictions on America’s truck drivers that … Continued

Today, American Trucking Associations leaders called on congressional leaders to reject misinformation put forth regarding truck safety and pass an omnibus appropriations bill that provides needed relief from unjustified and risk-raising regulations.

“In July 2013, with insufficient research, analysis and understanding of the consequences, the Obama administration placed two restrictions on America’s truck drivers that increased the risk of crashes on America’s highways,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “Senator Susan Collins, and a bipartisan majority of Senate appropriators, recognized the flaws in the changes put forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and voted to approve a common sense ‘time out’ to allow for proper research to be conducted.

“This isn’t a rider being added in the middle of the night at the 11th hour as some would have the public believe. This reasonable solution allows the government to do the research it should have done ahead of time and gives the industry the flexibility thousands of fleets and millions of drivers are pleading for,” Graves said.

The provision, commonly known as the Collins Amendment, would suspend the restrictions imposed on drivers using the 34-hour restart: requiring two periods between 1am and 5am and arbitrarily limiting the use of the restart to once per week. These restrictions – according to the government’s own limited study data push more trucks onto the roads in the early morning hours, statistically the riskiest time of day for crashes. FMCSA failed to consider this increased risk when making these changes and the Collins Amendment would suspend these changes until further research is conducted.

“Since these restrictions were imposed, driver after driver and fleet after fleet have said they are having a much greater impact than FMCSA envisioned and as a result, the agency should have to do more research before imposing these rules,” said ATA Chairman Duane Long, chairman of Longistics.

“At the end of the day, self-appointed trucking industry critics have used deceptive tactics and outright lies to paint what, by any measure, is a reasonable resolution to a potentially serious safety problem,” Graves said. “These falsehoods and half-truths shouldn’t prevent congress calling for a time out on these poorly researched and ill-conceived restrictions.”

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