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Senator Collins Amendment

Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Restart Study (Hours of Service) and Temporary Suspension



In July 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented revised Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, comprised of various provisions that affect many drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).   In particular, two of the new provisions in the final rule have created unjustified hardships:

  • Requiring that the restart rule to include two consecutive overnight periods from 1:00a.m – 5:00a.m.
  • Restricting the use of the restart rule to only once every 168 hours (once a week). 

Unfortunately, FMCSA failed to conduct the proper research and analysis of the safety impacts of moving so much truck traffic to the morning hours.  In fact, the FMCSA Administrator recently testified before the House THUD subcommittee in April that the field study conducted did not address the safety and congestion impacts of large trucks being forced onto highways during daytime rush hours, when children are on their way to school.  


What the amendment does:

  • Requires the FMCSA to conduct a study in order to assess the operational, safety, health and fatigue impacts of the restart provision.  This study will assess drivers’ safety critical events, fatigue and levels of alertness and driver health outcomes.  This is what safety advocates have asked the Department to undertake.  Further, in order to ensure that the study produces credible results, DOT’s Inspector General will review and comment on the Department’s plan as well as report to the Secretary and House and Senate Committees on Appropriations on the study’s compliance with the requirements. 
  • Provides a temporary suspension of two provisions (the two consecutive overnight periods from 1:00a.m. – 5:00a.m. and the use of the restart rule to only once every 168 hours (once a week) to lift the undue hardship while the Department conducts the study.
  • The Secretary shall submit a final report on the findings and conclusions of the study and the Department’s recommendations on whether the provisions in effect on July 1, 2013, provide a greater net benefit for the operational, safety, health and fatigue impacts of the restart provision.
  • Provides $4 million in unobligated balances to conduct this study.


What the amount does NOT do:

The amendment would not nullify the entire restart rule as some have erroneously stated.  For example, the amendment would not make changes to:

  • The minimum off-duty hours between shifts;
  • The total on-duty window in each shift;
  • The maximum driving hours per day;
  • The mandatory meal/rest break during a shift;
  • The sleeper berth requirements for splitting off-duty time;
  • The electronic on-board recorders; or
  • Any of the current federal exemptions to the Hours of Service rule.



More than 90 associations and companies support this effort:

Air and Expedited Motor Carrier Association, Alliance for Safe, Efficient and Competitive Truck Transportation, American Apparel and Footwear Association, American Bakers Association, American Beverage Association, American Chemistry Council, American Trucking Association, Auto Haulers Association of America, C&S Wholesale Grocers, FedEx, UPS, Forest Resources Association, International Foodservice Distribution Association, National Association of Small Trucking Companies, National Association of Manufacturers, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, National Chicken Council, National Federation of Independent Business, National Grocers Association, National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association, National Propane Gas Association, National Retail Federation, National Waste and Recycling Association, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Steel Manufacturers Association, Truckload Carriers Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, trucking associations from all 50 states, and so many more.