Improved efficiency is the overall goal of the legislators who proposed the Honest Operators Undertaking Road Safety, or “HOURS,” Act on June 21st. Lawmakers hope to improve highway safety and boost the economy by exempting drivers from hours-of-service regulations within 150 air-miles of their load’s source. This exemption specifically targets drivers who transport fresh produce and livestock, regardless of harvesting season.
The HOURs Act was proposed by a bipartisan group of representatives that believe drivers should not be hindered by the hours-of-service rules. The increased use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) makes compliance with the hours-of-service rules difficult to avoid. According to Transport Topics, when data was tracked by hand on logbooks by drivers, it was often inaccurate or falsified to dodge hours-of-service rules. Now that ELDs record the information automatically, drivers are noticing more inefficiency during transportation because of these regulations.
According to the American Trucking Association, with the relatively new ELD mandate that was put in place at the beginning of 2018, Congress is seeking to address concerns within the shipping industry. Perhaps ELD data should be used by lawmakers to analyze the underlying issues with the hours-of-service rules and adjust accordingly.
Experts believe the HOURs Act will significantly alleviate drivers from downtime due to unjust regulations. Efficiency is necessary when transporting livestock or agriculture, and an exemption from the hours-of-service regulations could be a viable solution for drivers.
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