ASI Supports 34-Hour Restart to Drivers
May 13, 2016

The American Sheep Industry Association joined nearly 100 other organizations in supporting language in the fiscal year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies appropriations bill to retain the use of the truck driver 34-hour restart and oppose any efforts to jeopardize its use.

Restricting use of the 34-hour restart, as the U.S. Department of Transportation did in July 2013 prior to congressional action, had significant negative consequences on drivers and companies. Despite gloomy predictions by critics of the provision, fatal truck crashes dropped 21 percent since the restart was implemented in 2004. In fact, the USDOT acknowledged when it imposed the restart restrictions that they were not justifiable from a safety perspective. The department could only rationalize restricting the 34-hour restart by theorizing the restrictions would somehow increase driver health and longevity.

The signators of the letter to the appropriations committee leadership believe the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration should be held to a high standard in its rulemakings and, thus, required to demonstrate the safety and health benefits of restricting use of the 34-hour restart. Should the agency be unable to do so, the simple restart should be retained for drivers to use as they have since 2004.