1/6/2012 5:00:00 PM
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The top Republican on the House Transportation Committee said Friday he is â€œconcernedâ€� that the federal government may lack adequate data to support the new hours-of-service rule it published last month.
â€œIt is important that any hours-of-service regulations proposed by the administration be backed up by sound scientific data and not needlessly burden our small businesses and the economy,â€� Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) said in a statement.
Mica did not say whether he would take action to overturn the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrationâ€™s rule for truck drivers, which restricts use of the 34-hour restart and mandates rest breaks within shifts.
FMCSA retained the 11-hour maximum daily driving time in the rule it announced Dec. 22, after saying in December 2010 that it favored a 10-hour limit.
In September, Mica warned FMCSA against making changes to hours of service, writing in a letter that he would â€œaggressively oversee any attempt by the U.S. DOT to impose new regulatory burdens on the trucking industry by making changes to the current hours-of-service rules.â€�
The new rule requires that drivers who use the 34-hour restart to reset their weekly driving maximums must have two periods between 1 and 5 a.m. during the restart period. It only allows one restart every seven days, and requires a 30-minute break after eight hours of driving.
The rule grew out of legal action that began in 2003 when labor and highway safety advocates went to court objecting after FMCSA issued a rule that raised the driving limit to 11 hours from 10, where it had been for 64 years. It takes effect in July 2013.
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