Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Contact: Norita Taylor, [email protected]
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791
For Immediate Release
Truckers thank U.S. Senators for supporting flexibility in hours of service regulations
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the nation’s only organization exclusively representing professional and small-business truckers, thanks the 30 U.S. Senators that recently signed a letter asking the federal government to reform the hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers.
The letter does not make any specific recommendations for changes, but expresses support for greater flexibility within the regulations and urges the agency to make improvements.
“We greatly appreciate these lawmakers for their support and for listening to the concerns of our members,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA president and CEO.
OOIDA also supports legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX-36) to modernize hours-of-service regulations.
The Responsible and Effective Standards for Truckers, or REST Act, H.R.5417, would allow 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. The bill would not extend the total, allowable drive time limits.
“We thank Rep. Babin for recognizing the need to address the lack of options for truckers trying to safely operate under today’s overly rigid federal regulations,” said Todd Spencer, acting president and CEO of OOIDA. “We want to see improvements to highway safety and what we have right now isn’t going to get that done.”
The bill requires DOT to update HOS regulations to allow a rest break once per 14-hour duty period for up to 3 consecutive hours as long as the driver is off-duty. This rest break would effectively pause the 14-hour clock. However, drivers would still need to log ten consecutive hours off duty before the start of their next work shift. It would also eliminate the existing 30-minute rest break requirement.
OOIDA has also recently petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to improve HOS, pointing out that current regulations are overly complex, provide no flexibility, and in no way reflect the physical capabilities or limitations of individual drivers.
“They force drivers to be on the road when they are tired or fatigued, during busy travel times and adverse weather and road conditions, or when they simply aren’t feeling well,” said Spencer. In short, OOIDA and its members view current HOS regulations as forcing truckers to comply with a regulatory framework that jeopardizes their safety and the safety of the traveling public.
“Truck drivers’ schedules are at the mercy of shippers, receivers, weather, congestion, and other obstacles, to operate safely,” said Spencer. “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,” added Spencer.