WASHINGTON — In a development hailed as a victory by the American Bakers Association, an amendment suspending two provisions of new Hours of Service regulations was passed in the U.S. Senate in to the fiscal 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill.
The amendment, introduced by Senator Susan Collins of Maine, stays a provision requiring two consecutive 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods in the 34-hour restart periods and a provision allowing drivers to count only one restart each 168 hours, in the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration H.O.S. regulations, rolled out in July. Opponents said the early morning restrictions would have created new hazards by increasing congestion during daytime hours.
“The American Bakers Association thanks Senator Collins for her leadership on this important issue impacting efficient and effective logistics for the industry,” said Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the A.B.A. “Changes to the rule requiring two consecutive periods of home terminal time between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. are based on faulty rationale and are unnecessary in the wake of improving safety trends. Bakers work to keep stores supplied with fresh baked goods seven days a week, and the 34-hour restart rule is forcing the industry to deploy more equipment and resources during peak commuter driving hours, adversely impacting safety for both drivers and customers.”
If the amended bill becomes law, the provisions would be suspended for one year to allow the F.M.C.S.A to complete and issue its findings on a Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Restart Safety Study.