Tuesday, February 14, 2012 by
The House introduced the highway bill, which may force the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ("FMCSA") to rewrite the 34-hour restart provision of the rule, which limits the restart to once a week with two sleep periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
The House bill would require the FMCSA to conduct a field study of the provision. The study would have to be completed by March 31, 2013, three months before the rule is scheduled to go into effect. If the study supports the rule, then the provision would go into effect on schedule.
The bill also includes language that would allow states to increase the truck weight limit on Interstate highways from 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds, provided the truck has a sixth axle.
The Department of Transportation ("DOT") would be able to establish fees for these trucks, based on the increased cost of wear and tear on the road. The fees would go into the Highway Trust Fund.
Another provision would permit states already allowing longer combination vehicles to add more routes for trucks in this category..
A third provision would allow states to issue special permits for gross vehicle weight up to 126,000 pounds on Interstate segments of 25 miles or less.