Lawmakers press DOT to study truck driver scheduling rules

"These regulations, which strictly limit the use of the 34 hour restart provisions and mandate inflexible rest periods, greatly decrease driver flexibility, and raise costs for the already over-burdened trucking industry — at a potential cost of up to $376 million annually to this single industry alone," the lawmakers wrote.

"Disappointingly, and counter to a commonsense approach to regulation, these rules were enacted without the completion of a field study and subsequent report legally required by Congress," the letter continued.

Despite the fact that the new rules for trucker scheduling have been in place for two months, the lawmakers said that the DOT should complete the study as soon as possible.

"We request that the FMCSA establish and provide to us the date on which the efficacy study required by MAP-21 and full report will be completed and submitted to Congress," the lawmakers wrote.

"The commercial trucking industry is a pillar of the U.S. economy and small, medium, and large businesses across America depend on the on-time, cost-efficient, and safe transport of finished products and raw materials each day. It is imperative that the rules governing the commercial trucking industry be backed by factual, statistically-valid and data-driven studies that are fully completed and analyzed before proposed rules come into effect."

The lawmakers requested a response from the DOT by Sept. 12.

GOP Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) spearheaded the letter calling for the study.