Rep. Hanna Introduces TRUE Safety Act to Turn Back Clock on New HOS Rules
Working to Help Truckers
Truckers have found a friend in U.S. Representative Richard Hanna. The New York Republican has been meeting with the trucking community to discuss the negative impact new Hours of Service (HOS) rules are having on truck drivers, small business owners and consumers. Hanna recently introduced a bill to modify the new HOS rules. Called the TRUE Safety Act for True Understanding of the Economy, the bill would reinstate unrestricted use of the 34-hour restart policy.
If the bill passes, the reinstatement would only be temporary while more data is collected; but permanent repeal of the 14-on-10-off rule is possible. Implementation of an ATA-proposed program to test rest-length options in actual long-haul driving conditions (see previous post) could provide data supporting permanent repeal.
"The TRUE Safety Act is a bipartisan effort to press the 'pause button' on this new rule while an independent assessment is completed to ensure the rule makes sense and will not actually harm the travelling public and American economy," Hanna told TheTrucker.com (read the article for the bill's provisions).
Hanna's bill has attracted support from both sides of the political aisle and now has 53 co-sponsors. Opponents of the new 14-on-10-off HOS rule, implemented to supposedly increase safety, say it could actually decrease truck driver safety.
"This new rule was not properly studied prior to implementation." Brian Brundige of Terpening Trucking in Syracuse, NY told TheTrucker.com. "The pool of experienced drivers is already strained, and now companies will be forced to use inexperienced drivers to make up for less time on the road, which increases our liability and the safety of all motorists."
Of equally great concern in our still struggling economy is an expected increase in shipping costs. The new rules are predicted to raise national shipping costs by a trucking industry estimate of $376 million per year. Higher shipping costs translate into higher cost of goods and services for small businesses and their consumers, creating a further drag on the economy.