Bipartisan letter asks DOT to provide date on which overdue study will be complete
WASHINGTON, D.C.– U.S. Representative Richard Hanna
today announced that 51 Members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary
of Transportation Anthony Foxx reiterating their concerns about the
Hours of Service (HOS) final rule which came into effect on July 1,
2013, as well as the counterintuitive process used by FMCSA to implement
the untested regulation.
The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st
Century Act (MAP-21) directed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration (FMCSA) to conduct a statistically-valid field study by
March 31, 2013. Although FMCSA missed this deadline, it finalized and
enacted a new HOS rule for commercial truckers on July 1.
government has an obligation to properly study the economic and safety
impact of regulations it enacts on industries such as commercial
trucking, asphalt, concrete and other construction businesses. These
rules have real-world implications for small businesses, workers, and
consumers,” Rep. Hanna said. “FMCSA enacted these new
HOS rules without even completing a valid field study. The Department
should commit to a timeline for completing the study and submitting its
report to Congress so that lawmakers can properly consider the costs and
benefits of the rule and whether or not it makes sense moving forward.”
The letter notes that the new regulations were enacted without proper
study and strictly limit the use of the 34-hour restart provisions,
mandate inflexible rest periods, decrease driver flexibility, and raise
costs for the trucking industry which would be passed on to American
small businesses and consumers.
The letter asks Secretary Foxx
to establish and provide the date on which the efficacy study required
by MAP-21 will be completed and submitted to Congress. The signatories
request a response by September 12, 2013, which more than two weeks
before the MAP-21 deadline for FMCSA to report to Congress on the study,
which also coincides with the end of Fiscal Year 2013.
The text of the letter follows:
August 29, 2013
Secretary Anthony Foxx
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590
write to thank you for the Department’s recent proposed rule to reduce
driver-vehicle inspection report requirements for commercial truck
drivers who have not found or been made aware of any vehicle defects or
deficiencies. We believe this is a commonsense step to lower paperwork
burdens on good actors in an important sector of the American economy
and appreciate your leadership on the issue.
we also write to express our continued deep concern about the recent
Hours of Service (HOS) final rule (76 Fed. Reg. 81134), which came into
effect on July 1, 2013. These regulations, which strictly limit the use
of the 34 hour restart provisions and mandate inflexible rest periods,
greatly decrease driver flexibility, and raise costs for the already
over-burdened trucking industry—at a potential cost of up to $376
million annually to this single industry alone. Unfortunately, these
additional costs will be passed on to our nation’s consumers as prices
rise in stores where hard-working Americans shop on a daily basis.
and counter to a commonsense approach to regulation, these rules were
enacted without the completion of a field study and subsequent report
legally required by Congress. As you are aware, the Moving Ahead for
Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21, Public Law 112-141) directed
the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to conduct a
statistically-valid field study by March 31, 2013. Even with the field
study unfinished, the FMCSA finalized and enacted these untested new HOS
We request that the FMCSA establish and
provide to us the date on which the efficacy study required by MAP-21
and full report will be completed and submitted to Congress. The
commercial trucking industry is a pillar of the U.S. economy and small,
medium, and large businesses across America depend on the on-time,
cost-efficient, and safe transport of finished products and raw
materials each day. It is imperative that the rules governing the
commercial trucking industry be backed by factual, statistically-valid
and data-driven studies that are fully completed and analyzed before
proposed rules come into effect.
Thank you in advance
for a prompt and thorough response by September 12, 2013. We look
forward to working with you to better our nation’s transportation system
while properly balancing costs and benefits of federal regulations.
SECRETARY FOXX'S RESPONSE FOLLOWS:
THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION
WASHINGTON, n.0. 20590
The Honorable Richard L. Hanna
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congressman Hanna:
Thank you for your August 29 letter supporting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration’s (FMCSA) proposed rule to reduce the driver vehicle inspection reporting
requirements and expressing your views about the hours-of-service (HOS) final rule.
I appreciate hearing from you on these matters.
Since Congress directed the U.S. Department of Transportation to undertake the HOS
rulemaking in 1995, the Department has focused on implementing a rule that makes reasonable,
common sense changes while realizing important safety benefits for the American public. This
rule, issued on December 27, 2011, is the product of years of fatigue research, safety studies, and
analysis of public comments. It is also the result of input from a wide range of stakeholders,
including trucking companies, drivers, law enforcement, unions, and safety advocates. This
overwhelming level of public engagement contributed to a fair rule that will prevent an estimated
1,400 crashes and 560 injuries each year and save an average of 19 lives annually. The final
HOS rule went into effect on July l and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals substantially upheld it
on August 2.
The Moving Ahead for Progress in the Zlst Century restart study provision was enacted well
after the HOS ñnal rule was issued and implementation had begun. Further, the provision
directed FMCSA to verify just one of the many findings from the Agency’s lengthy and
comprehensive rulemaking process and did not direct the Agency to delay any of the ru1e’s
important safety benefits while the field study was being conducted.
The FMCSA completed the data collection portion of this study at the end of July and is
currently in the final stages of analysis. The Agency is_ committed to a robust and thorough
analysis and will submit the report only añer this process is completed and the results are
scrutinized through peer review. As a result, at this time I cannot predict the date on which the
full report will be completed and submitted to Congress, but I assure you that we are working as
expeditiously as possible.
The Honorable Richard L. Hanna
Thank you for your views and we welcome your continued engagement on this issue. A similar
letter has been sent to each cosigner of your letter. If I can provide further information 0r
assistance, please feel free to call me.
Anthony R. Foxx