In a development aggressively pursued by the baking industry, the Department of Transportation’s Hours of Service 34-Hour Restart requirement has been returned to its pre-July 2013 restart.
The bakers described the change, included in the federal spending bill, as a “permanent fix” to a problematic provision of H.O.S. regulations.
“A.B.A. would like to thank congressional leaders for including language in the Continuing Resolution that permanently removes an onerous provision to the 34-hour restart limiting the hours when bakery delivery vehicles can be on the road,” said Robb MacKie, A.B.A. president and chief executive officer. “We hope this brings to a close the uncertainty for bakers surrounding their distribution operations dating back to the 1990’s.”
The change has been a priority for the A.B.A. for more than three years. The group sought to remove a change from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that required two consecutive nights off for drivers between 1 and 5 a.m.
“Due to the need to keep stores supplied with fresh baked goods seven days a week, drivers in the wholesale baking industry do not have consecutive days off and therefore would be unable to utilize the restart tool,” the A.B.A. explained. “The change required the industry to deploy more equipment and resources during peak commuter driving hours, adversely impacting safety while also negatively impacting productivity both for the drivers and customers.”
Mr. MacKie said the change will allow drivers to utilize the restart, too, and also reduces the regulatory burden on bakers while maintaining safety.