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February 4, 2015 5:00 PM, EST

Virginia Tech Chosen to Lead FMCSA Restart Study

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
Virginia Tech’s Transportation Institute has been chosen to conduct the federal government’s study on the 34-hour restart rule.

Congress in December suspended the restart provision that was implemented in 2013, saying it wanted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to study the restart’s effect on safety and driver alertness.

Carriers have said that the new restart rule, which requires drivers to take rest periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. on two consecutive days, cuts into driver pay and trucking industry productivity and puts more trucks on roads during morning peak traffic hours.

The university researchers hired by FMCSA are seeking about 250 truck drivers to participate in the study, Virginia Tech said.

Congress mandated that the study have two groups of drivers — one that abided by the new restart and another by the old restart rule that was in effect until July 2013 that allowed drivers to begin a new work week after any 34 hours of consecutive rest.

The study is to be completed by Sept. 30.