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FMCSA still looking for truck operators to participate in 34-hour restart study

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ATA's Dave Osiecki

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is still on the prowl for drivers who regularly use a 34-hour hours-of-service restart in their workweek, the agency announced this week, for its research into comparing 2013 hours-of-service stipulations to those prior.

The study was mandated by Congress in December, when a 2015 appropriations bill halted enforcement of 2013’s hours-of-service 34-hour restart provisions — its once-per-week limit and the requirement that a restart include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods — pending the agency’s study.

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute will be conducting the research for FMCSA, and the agency has said drivers could earn up to $2,000 by participating.

VTTI said in February it was looking for 250 drivers to participate in the study. It’s unclear whether that number has been reached.

Per Congress, the study must be conducted for five months and will compare the schedules of two driver sets, one that follows 2013 rules and ones that follow prior (and now current) rules governing restart use.

Researchers will compare their schedules, crashes, near-crashes, crash-relevant events, operator fatigue and alertness and short-term health.

The report must be reviewed by the DOT’s Office of Inspector General, and it must be submitted to Congress once finished. If the agency concludes the 2013 rules are better for safety and operator alertness, they will go back into effect.

Drivers can learn more about participating at restartstudy.com.

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