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Senate passes HOS fix, speed limiter mandate

The U.S. Senate on May 19 passed legislation (H.R. 2577) to fund the Department of Transportation and its agencies, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, for the upcoming fiscal year. As passed, the bill would continue to prohibit FMCSA from enforcing its regulations requiring that the 34-hour restart include two consecutive 1 a.m.-to-5 a.m. periods and that the restart be used only once in a consecutive 168-hour period.

In a compromise, however, the legislation specifies that if a driver uses the restart he cannot work more than 73 hours in seven days. The House version of the bill includes the ban on the nighttime and once-a-week restrictions, but it does not limit total hours worked in a week.

An amendment adopted during Senate floor consideration would require FMCSA to issue a final rule within six months of the bill's final passage requiring speed limiting devices on heavy trucks. A draft proposed rule by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget for more than a year.

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