March 2, 2017
Mandated by the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015
Letter to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations and the Secretary Regarding OIG’s Audit of FMCSA’s Hours of Service Restart Study
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued hours-of-service regulations in 2013 to establish daily and weekly driving limits and required rest periods for commercial vehicle drivers. The regulations included two additional restart provisions. These provisions required that commercial drivers include at least two nighttime periods in restart breaks and limited use of the restart provision to once every 168 hours.
Congress raised concerns about the rule’s unintended consequences, such as increased congestion during certain traffic hours and suspended FMCSA’s enforcement of the two provisions in the 2015 Appropriations Act. The act also required DOT to conduct a study of the operational, safety, health, and fatigue impacts of these rules and mandated that we review the study.
We found that DOT’s study met the act’s requirements. We also concur with the Department’s conclusion that the study did not explicitly identify a net benefit from the use of the two suspended provisions on driver operations, safety, fatigue, and health.