Letter: Trucking regulations

Published: Saturday, June 21 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

To further the impressive reductions in truck crashes over the past decade, the trucking industry is supporting a Senate appropriations bill amendment that would suspend two risky provisions recently added to the truck driver hours of service regulations.

The trucking industry supports retention of the bulk of the truck driver hours-of-service rules — the daily and weekly driving limits, mandatory off-duty rest periods and the "restart" provision. Since 2003 when the framework for these rules was put in place, truck-involved fatalities have declined 21 percent — even as trucks drove over 50 billion more miles.

However, new restrictions placed on the restart provision increase the risk of crashes. Specifically, a recent U.S. DOT study shows that drivers operating under the new restart restrictions are more likely to operate during the day when crash risk is higher, an impact FMCSA did not anticipate or properly research before implementing them. For this reason, suspending the restrictions and conducting the needed research on the true impacts and benefits of these provisions will likely make roads safer.

Philip Byrd

Salt Lake City

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