Collins Defends Change to Restart Requirements

Federal data shows that the accident rate for trucks is higher during morning peak traffic, one of the reasons the 34-hour restart requirement in the federal hours of service rule was suspended pending further study, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said in an op-ed column for the Bangor Daily News.

Collins sponsored the provision contained in a recently approved fiscal 2015 funding bill that suspends the 34-hour requirement through Sept. 30 so a study of its effects can be done.

The trucking industry has said the 34-hour restart presents safety issues because the new regulation results in more trucks on the roads in morning traffic.

“The federal administrator responsible for the new regs has admitted that they were not fully evaluated for safety and crash reduction benefits, which is why a study is warranted,” Collins said in the Dec. 24 op-ed defending her support for the suspension.

The 34-hour requirement — added to the federal HOS rule in 2013 — said drivers must take two consecutive rest periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m