MMTA Statement on Senator Collins 34-Hour Restart Amendment

Contact: Brian Parke, MMTA President and CEO bparke@mmta.com | 207.623.4128

June 5, 2014

 

The 1,270 members of the Maine Motor Transport Association applaud Senator Collins in her successful effort to introduce and pass a committee amendment that would suspend portions of the 34 hour restart provision in the new hours-of-service rules.  Specifically, only being able to use a 34-hour restart once every 168 hours and the requirement to include two periods between 1am-5am before a restart can be used.  The amendment calls for a study to analyze the effectiveness and impacts of these two provisions on truck driver fatigue and overall safety.

 

Senator Collins – with the help of the American Trucking Associations, other state trucking associations and member feedback – was able to convince many of her peers that her amendment was an essential solution to an unnecessary problem created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration who failed to recognize the practical realities of the trucking industry and highway safety.  The committee vote was an impressive 21-9.

 

“This committee vote is a strong show of support for highway safety,” said Brian Parke, President and CEO of the Maine Motor Transport Association.  “Senator Collins recognized early on that safety would suffer if commercial truck traffic was forced on the roadways during daytime hours, increasing congestion and crash risk.”

 

Mr. Parke is referring to one of the two changes that Senator Collins’ proposal would revert back to the old rules – limiting drivers to one restart per week and requiring the restart to include two periods of rest between 1am and 5am.  Her amendment suspends these two provisions for one year while a comprehensive study is done to address the unintended consequences.

 

Despite what opponents might describe, she is not suggesting changes to any other part of the new hours-of-service rules, including no changes to:

  • Minimum Off-Duty Hours Between Shifts;
  • Total On-Duty Window in Each Shift;
  • Total Hours (On-Duty+Off-Duty+Rest);
  • Maximum Driving Hours;
  • Mandatory Rest Break During Shift;
  • Maximum Cumulative On-Duty; or
  • Anything to do with Electronic Logging Devices / Electronic On-Board Recorders.

 

“We are fortunate to have someone like Senator Collins representing Maine,” says Parke.  “As usual, she has been a relentless advocate for a common sense solution that will produce unquestionable safety benefits.”