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The Trucker March 1-14, 2016 : Page 1

www . thetrucker . com m arch 1-14, 2016 V ol . 29, N o . 5 Sentence omitted from appropriations bill appears to nullify any restart provision; trucking feverishly working on a fix Pilot Flying J indictment ASSOCIATED PRESS John Freeman, a former top ex-ecutive of the truck stop chain owned by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam advised sales staff to “Say one thing, do another,” when it came to dealing with customers, ac-cording to an indictment. Page 8 Daimler layoffs ....................... 3 Rhode Island tolls .................. 4 Fatigue blamed for wreck ...... 6 Highway Angels ..................... 8 Speedy Ohioans .................. 13 Hidden agenda .................... 15 Chaplain’s Corner ................ 21 Truck Stop ........................... 22 Class 8 sales down.............. 27 Prime Performers ................ 33 Shell Safety Series .............. 37 Braking for used trucks ....... 41 Mack Uptime Centers .......... 47 Around the Bend.................. 51 Navigating the news One sentence missing from the 2016 Appro-priations bill is having unintended repercussions for the Hours of Service professional truck drivers must abide by. Language missing from the bill is a sentence that should have stated that the current 34-hour re-start provision truckers currently use is to remain in place if a Congressionally mandated study by FMCSA doesn’t show that suspended portions of the restart (the two 1-5 a.m. periods and 168-hour provision) improve safety, operator fatigue, driver health and work schedules. In setting the bar so high, Congress and truck-ing stakeholders intended to bar the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from keeping the two 1-5 a.m. periods and the 168-hour provision requirements in the 34-hour restart. They also intended that the bill would specify that the 34-hour restart now in place would con-tinue. Instead, that language got left out. It was in the House version of the 2016 Trans-portation, Housing and Urban Development Ap-propriations Bill, and stated: “The Committee continues with modification language to suspend enforcement of the restart provisions of the Hours of Service regulation that went into effect on July 1, 2013, unless the Secretary and the Department of Transportation Inspector General determine that a mandated study has met statutory require-ments and that the results of such study demon-strate improvements of all outcomes.” But by the time that was rolled into the overall Omnibus ap-propriations bill, that language was missing. The American Trucking Associations alerted the Truckload Carriers Association to the situation earlier last month; the error was discovered by trucking stakeholders in mid-December. Without language requiring the current 34-hour restart to stay in place, DOT and trucking legal experts say that DOT would have to com-S ee B ill on p 17 m THE TRUCKER STAFF The language in the ‘‘Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016’’ should have indicated that Congress intended to leave in place the 34-hour restart provision that was in effect prior to July 1, 2013, at least until the so-called restart study was completed and its results verified. But somewhere, some-how, that language, which had been in a previous version of the bill, got left out. The Trucker : ROB NELSON Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper John Williams has av-eraged giving out nearly 2,000 tickets a year from 2010 to 2014. But he’s also an empa-thetic officer who is hard not to admire. Page 51 Friendly ticket writer ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sentence Omitted From Appropriations Bill Appears To Nullify Any Restart Provision; Trucking Feverishly Working On A Fix

THE TRUCKER STAFF

One sentence missing from the 2016 Appropriations bill is having unintended repercussions for the Hours of Service professional truck drivers must abide by.

Language missing from the bill is a sentence that should have stated that the current 34-hour restart provision truckers currently use is to remain in place if a Congressionally mandated study by FMCSA doesn’t show that suspended portions of the restart (the two 1-5 a.m. periods and 168-hour provision) improve safety, operator fatigue, driver health and work schedules.

In setting the bar so high, Congress and trucking stakeholders intended to bar the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from keeping the two 1-5 a.m. periods and the 168-hour provision requirements in the 34-hour restart.

They also intended that the bill would specify that the 34-hour restart now in place would continue. Instead, that language got left out.

It was in the House version of the 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill, and stated: “The Committee continues with modification language to suspend enforcement of the restart provisions of the Hours of Service regulation that went into effect on July 1, 2013, unless the Secretary and the Department of Transportation Inspector General determine that a mandated study has met statutory requirements and that the results of such study demonstrate improvements of all outcomes.” But by the time that was rolled into the overall Omnibus appropriations bill, that language was missing.

The American Trucking Associations alerted the Truckload Carriers Association to the situation earlier last month; the error was discovered by trucking stakeholders in mid-December.

Without language requiring the current 34- hour restart to stay in place, DOT and trucking legal experts say that DOT would have to completely remove the entire 34-hour restart provision when the study is released.

In other words, since the FAST Act appropriations bill “contains no language to direct our industry on a restart provision, then there is no restart provision to abide by,” stated an e-mail sent by TCA to its member carriers February 13.

ATA’s Executive Committee, of which TCA is part, hopes to negotiate for language that contains no 1-5 a.m. or 168-hour restrictions and a cap of 75 hours in seven days.

DOT, on the other hand, has said it wants a cap of 70 hours in seven days.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has told ATA she is willing to work with DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx to negotiate language that is acceptable to trucking interests and that she would also encourage Foxx to delay the release of the mandated restart study, which is due out in March, while negotiations take place.

ATA has noted that if it can’t negotiate a weekly hours cap acceptable to trucking it will strive to get language to clarify Congressional intent.

In the meantime, TCA stated, discussions among stakeholders, members of Congress and regulators “remain fluid,” and both ATA and TCA have told member carriers to continue operations as they have been until officially told otherwise and not to be misled by rumors and misinformation. Also, they note that truckers’ daily work rules, 11 driving hours, 14 on-duty hours, 10 off-duty hours and the 30-minute rest break are NOT affected by the restart conundrum.

TCA President John Lyboldt and Director of Safety and Policy Dave Heller told The Trucker that trucking stakeholders are still working to come up with a solution and that TCA is “standing shoulder to shoulder” with ATA to get the job done.

FMCSA gave a terse response to inquiries: “While Congress works on this issue, the Department stands ready to provide assistance as requested.”

As reported in Editor Lyndon Finney’s column, “Eye on Trucking” this issue, the Senate Appropriations Committee was asked about correcting the restart omission and passed the buck to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which had not replied as of press time.

Truckers, of course, know that central to problems with Hours of Service have been the two 1-5 a.m. off-duty periods and the 168-hour restriction which were added during the 2013 HOS redo, and that these additions are thought by many to decrease safety because they forced truckers onto the roads already crammed with morning work traffic and parents and buses dropping children off at school.

Through consistent work by the trucking industry with members of Congress, the two additions were suspended by Congressional action until FMCSA completed a study of the actual safety merits of the pre- and post-2013 portions of the restart.

According to ATA, DOT interprets the most recent legislation to mean that if the study doesn’t find that the 2013 changes meet the safety bar set by Congress, “the entire restart provision would have to be vacated.” And, that “a technical correction cannot be made on an appropriations bill. A new bill would have to be passed.”

It’s possible, says ATA, that a new restart provision could be tacked onto the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization bill (see related article Page 15). If that reauthorization bill isn’t passed by the end of March, Congress must pass an FAA extension bill by the end of March, and then this bill would be the vehicle to which a restart solution would have to be attached.

ATA notes that it will fight for flexibility in the restart as it stands now, and still has serious problems with going back to the HOS with the two 1-5 a.m. periods and 168-hours provision.

“Any compromise solution,” ATA stated, “must not be overly restrictive but would likely restrict total weekly hours to a limit below that which is currently possible [81 hours].”

Read the full article at http://www.virtualonlineeditions.com/article/Sentence+Omitted+From+Appropriations+Bill+Appears+To+Nullify+Any+Restart+Provision%3B+Trucking+Feverishly+Working+On+A+Fix/2403477/291636/article.html.

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