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Drivers asked to weigh in on 34-hour restart changes

The new 34-hour restart rule is scheduled to become law July 1, and could make parking even harder to find. (The Trucker file photo)

The Trucker News Services

1/9/2013

ARLINGTON, Va.  — The research arm of the American Trucking Associations wants drivers to weigh in on the 34-hour restart rule.

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) this week released a second survey to collect data on the impacts that may accrue from changes to the 34-hour restart rule.

Under the new Hours of Service rules that are scheduled to take effect July 1, changes to the 34-hour restart will include a requirement that a restart include two periods between 1 a.m.-5 a.m., and limit use of the restart to one time during a seven-day period. This survey, in addition to the recently completed motor carrier survey, is part of a larger ATRI study quantifying real-world operational impacts on the trucking industry that may result from these revisions.

The ATA has filed a petition for a court review of the new rules and has openly expressed displeasure with the new restart provisions.

Oral arguments on the petition are scheduled for March 15 before a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Currently, there are no limits on how many times a week a driver can use the restart during a seven-day period and there are no requirements that the restart include two overnight periods.

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The ATA says the new rule has the potential to reduce driver productivity and create more parking problems as drivers shift work schedules because of the overnight requirements.

Commercial drivers are encouraged to provide confidential input on the HOS changes through ATRI’s survey, available online at www.atri-online.org.

The aggregated and anonymized results of both surveys as well as ATRI’s full HOS study will be released later this year.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is also conducting a field study on the new restart rule.

The study is a requirement of MAP-21, the new surface transportation bill.

The FMCSA must complete the field study by March 31, 2013, on the effectiveness of the 34-hour restart provision in its hours-of-service rules, including the changes to the restart provision that become effective July 1.

ATRI is the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization.  It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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