April 29, 2015 4:30 PM, EDT

Rep. Hanna Criticizes HOS Study Researchers

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) said he does not think a university reviewing a recently suspended hours-of-service rule for truckers will reach a fair conclusion when it unveils its report later this year.

“They’re engaging in a study they will like us to believe that they will come out with later this year that is unbelievable at its face because they’re hiring the same people again,” Hanna said during a House Highways and Transit Subcommittee hearing April 29.

Hanna was referring to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s choice of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to perform a congressionally mandated study of HOS. The institute had conducted an HOS study in 2011 that was criticized by industry.

Hanna also has called on Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to guarantee the study includes comparative data on safety critical events such as crashes, near crashes and crash-relevant conflicts, which occur during the rush-hour period of 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.

On April 29, FMCSA announced that it has exceeded its goal of recruiting more than 225 truck driver volunteers to participate in the HOS study. The agency has indicated it intends to conclude the study by the end of the year.

A fiscal 2015 funding law enacted in December suspended enforcement that drivers take off two consecutive periods of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. during a 34-hour restart. The law also required the study.