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President Signs Spending Bill - Hours-of-Service Restart Provisions Go Into Effect
Late yesterday, on December 16, 2014, President Obama signed the FY 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill providing funding for the vast majority of the federal government, including the Department of Transportation, for the current fiscal year.
As reported earlier this week, the most important trucking-related provision is language that provides relief from the two new restrictions of the hours of service restart rule. Specifically, the legislation suspends the requirement that all qualifying restarts contain two consecutive periods of time between 1am and 5am, and that it can only be used once every 168 hours (or seven days). In other words, the restart rule reverts back to the simple 34 hour restart in effect from 2003 to June 2013.
The Maine State Police have assured that they will continue to work with CVSA to implement the change quickly on enforcement of these rules.
The change takes effect on Dec. 16, 2014 and will be in place until September 30, 2015, as the Department of Transportation conducts a study comparing the effectiveness of the 34 hour restart rules in place before July 1, 2013 with those that took effect after.
No other hours of service rules, including the 30-minute rest break provision, are affected and must be complied with.

Also, a reminder of the following rule change regarding DVIR's:
WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced on Tuesday that, effective Dec. 18, 2014, professional truck drivers will no longer have to comply with a burdensome daily paperwork requirement. Eliminating DVIRs when no safety defects or mechanical deficiencies are identified will result in time savings valued at $1.7 billion dollars annually without compromising safety.
Commercial truck drivers will still be required to conduct pre- and post-trip inspections of their vehicles to identify any safety defects or maintenance concerns. The final rule announced yesterday removes the requirement that drivers file a report for approximately 95 percent of inspections when equipment problems or safety concerns are not identified.
When the rule takes effect, companies may still choose to require documentation but will not be required by law to do so.
George Colby
Legislative Officer: Maine Professional Drivers Association
Home: 926-4217
Cell: 577-5181
Fax: 926-3675