WASHINGTON (April 27, 2016) — The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 30-0 on April 21 to approve a $56 billion bill funding the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for fiscal year 2017.
The bill would give nearly $900 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and $644 million to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
For the trucking industry, the bill attempts to prevent truck drivers from abusing the restart rule by capping the hours they remain on duty at 73 hours per week.
It also calls to expedite issuance of a rule on electronic devices called “speed limiters” that would mandate their use and require that they be set no higher than 65 miles per hour.
Opinion is split on speed limiters within the trucking industry. The American Trucking Associations has advocated speed limiters set at 65 mph since 2006, but the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association argues such a mandate would actually decrease highway safety by increasing the interaction between large trucks and passenger vehicles.
There was no immediate word on when the transportation funding bill would advance to the full Senate.