US Congress Halts HOS Reform Funding

The United States Congress has approved legislation Octo-ber 5 that would effectively stop Department of Transportation (DOT) efforts to reform current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for drivers during fiscal year 2001.

After a lobbying effort by various trucking industry groups, Congress passed legislation that allows DOT only to review its HOS proposal and possibly issue a supplemental rule that will allow for further public comment and input. Implementation of any rule is pushed back to Oct 1, 2001.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) sponsored efforts of the 50-state Trucking Executive Leadership Council (TELC) to derail HOS reform by focusing on the negative points of DOT's proposed revisions.

Gerald Detter of Con-Way Transportation, who co-chaired the TELC with Donald Schneider of Schneider National, said the HOS reform would have caused more problems that it solved. "The rule would not have delivered safety - just more gridlock on the freeways and on our loading docks," said Detter.

The National Economic Research Association said that implementation of the HOS proposal would cost the trucking industry $19.1 billion over 10 years and that safety benefits of the new rules were based on faulty data.

The ATA claimed HOS reforms would have forced the trucking industry to put 100,000 more trucks on the highway during daylight hours and force the use of less-experienced drivers.

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