Congressmen move to delay new regulations for truckers

Reps. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Tom Rice (R-S.C.) and Mike Michaud (D-Maine) introduced the TRUE Safety Act on Thursday, which would delay new restrictions on how many hours truck drivers can spend behind the wheel each day.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted a new “hours of service” rule in July that limits the number of hours truckers can spend on the road.

“It is wrongheaded for the federal government to impose an arbitrary and capricious regulation that impacts almost every sector of the American economy without first finishing a study on its effectiveness,” Hanna said. “Federal agencies should have an obligation to prove that new rules and regulations do not cause more harm than good – in terms of both safety and costs.”

The new HOS limitations will result in an annual loss of $376 million to the trucking industry, according to a study by American Transportation Research Institute. The restrictions could also disproportionately affect the fresh food industry and create more congestion on highways during peak traffic hours.

“… Congress required the FMSCA to complete a comprehensive study before imposing new HOS standards on our truckers,” Rice said. “Instead, the agency has abused its authority and is requiring truckers to comply with one of the most stringent parts of its regulation prior to receiving their study’s findings. This legislation will rein in FMSCA and postpone the new un-tested hours of service regulation until its study is complete and require an additional study to ensure that our truckers are not being overregulated.”

If enacted, the TRUE Safety Act would also require truckers to comply with the 34-hour restart rules that were previously in place and call on the Government Accountability Office to conduct an independent assessment on the new HOS standards.