Reprinted from JJ Keller
According to information provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to J. J. Keller, the agency is suspending enforcement of Section 395.3(c) and (d) as of 12:01 a.m. on December 16, 2014. The agency’s actions are the result of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, becoming law on December 16, 2014.
The agency clarified that it is no longer enforcing the 34-hour restart restrictions that were in effect as of July 1, 2013. The agency is reverting back to the previous restart provisions in effect on June 30, 2013. However, FMCSA has indicated it is only temporarily suspending, not rescinding, Section 395.3(c) and (d). No changes are being made to the text of those provisions.
The Act requires FMCSA to perform “a naturalistic study of the operational, safety, health and fatigue impacts” of those restart provisions. The suspension of the July 1, 2013, version of the restart rule will continue until the end of Fiscal Year 2015 (September 30) or until the final report on the naturalistic study has been submitted to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, whichever is later.
Although the Act’s suspension of enforcement does not preempt state law, the federal funding received by states under the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) does place limitations. The funding restrictions contained in the Act prohibit all agencies that receive federal grant funds under MCSAP from using MCSAP funding to engage in any enforcement activities based on the two restart restrictions that went into effect on July 1, 2013.
FMCSA stated it will provide public notice of the date when the temporary suspension ends and when §395.3(c) and (d) regain their legal force and effect.