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June 16, 2014 5:01 PM, EDT

CVSA Head: Study HOS Impact, But Don't Make Changes Now

Congress should not make changes to the current hours-of-service rule, the executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance said June 16.

“Legislating changes to the HOS rules now, not even a year since becoming effective, creates significant uniformity and consistency problems across the country,” CVSA Executive Director Stephen Keppler said in a statement. “The results of this legislative action will create unnecessary upheaval for the states and cause significant operational and budgetary impacts on their enforcement efforts. In addition, constant change causes confusion for both industry and enforcement.”

Keppler said the hours regulations are “first and foremost” safety regulations, not efficiency or productivity regulations.

"While the regulations certainly should and need to take into account the economic impacts to the industry, that is not what they are principally designed to do,” Keppler said.

Keppler said he would support a comprehensive study on the safety and operational impacts of the HOS regulations, but while the current rules remain in place.

“Once this analysis has been completed, only then would it be appropriate to consider any changes or adjustments through the rulemaking process,” Keppler said.

In recent weeks, Congress, racing to craft a transportation funding bill, has been debating the merits of whether to alter provisions of the rule’s 34-hour restart.