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House Bill Aims to Bend 14-Hour Clock for Truck Drivers

A newly proposed bill would allow truck drivers a daily break of up to 3 consecutive hours that would not eat into the 14-hour on-duty allotment afforded them by federal Hours of Service rules.

Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, introduced the Responsible and Effective Standards for Truckers (REST) Act (H.R. 5417) on March 29. According to Babin, the legislation would “modernize hours of service regulations for truck drivers.”

The REST Act calls for a single off-duty rest period that would not be counted toward the driver’s 14-hour on-duty allowance nor would it extend the total, allowable drive limits.

However, drivers would still need to log ten consecutive hours off duty before the start of their next work shift. And the bill would eliminate the existing 30-minute rest break requirement.

“I’m proud to introduce the REST Act and give America’s truckers the options they need to safely operate under today’s rigid federal regulations,” said Rep. Babin. “This bill is an important step in making the way for improved highway safety.”

The REST Act requires the Department of Transportation to update the Hours of Service regulations to allow a rest break once per 14-hour duty period for up to 3 consecutive hours as long as the driver is off-duty, effectively pausing the 14-hour clock, said Babin.

“We thank Rep. Babin for recognizing the need to address the lack of options for truckers trying to safely operate under today’s overly rigid federal regulations,” said Todd Spencer, acting president and CEO of the Owner Operator Independent Driver Association. “We want to see improvements to highway safety and what we have right now isn’t going to get that done.”

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