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Congressionally-mandated study of truck safety rule is currently under review

Trucking safety is an important factor in highway safety, and fatigued driving is among the most talked-about issue when it comes to the trucking industry. Last month, we wrote a pair of posts on the federal hours-of-service rules, which are aimed at preventing fatigued driving among truckers.

Readers who haven’t been following trucking news may not be aware that there was an hours-of-service rule suspended back in 2014 which had required that truckers take two rest periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. as part of their 34-hour restart break. The rule was suspended based on questions about its effectiveness in promoting highway safety, which were largely raised by the trucking industry.

The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, under which the restart rule was suspended, required Congress to study the impact of the rule on the trucking industry. The study has reportedly been completed and is apparently now being reviewed by the Secretary of the Department of Transportation. The rule, under the law, may not be reinstated unless the study was completed and reviewed, so it is a critical step in getting the rule put back in place, if that indeed occurs at all.

Though it isn’t know how long it will take the agency to review the rule, the study has been said to be very well done, at least by Scott Darling, the nominated administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the agency that implemented the restart rule.  

In our next post, we’ll speak a bit about the potential impact of the study on whether the restart rule is reinstated, and why all of this matters to those involved in truck accidents.

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