Monthly Archives: December 2013

Bill to overturn hours-of-service rule introduced in Senate, referred to committee

A bill was introduced Dec. 20 in the Senate last week that, if enacted, would halt the most recent hours-of-service rule change and allow truck drivers to operate under the pre-July 1 rules again, until Congress can review the rule further.

The bill — a the Senate counterpart to a House bill introduced in late October — was introduced by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and is being sponsored by her and Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), according to the Library of Congress. It was referred to the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, LOC also notes.

A bill with bi-partisan support has been introduced in the U.S. House and if passed would undo the current hours of service rule and allow truck drivers to revert back to abiding by the hours rules in place prior to the July 1 changes.
truck-log
The bill, dubbed the TRUE Safety Act, would require the Government Accountability Office to perform an assessment of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s methodology in creating the rule, specifically the research that went into developing the 34-hour restart provisions of the rule.

The July 1 hours-of-service changes could not go back into effect until six months after the GAO submitted its findings to Congress, unless the GAO study recommends otherwise.

Story from overdriveonline.com. Click here to see the House version’s bill. The Senate version will be posted when it becomes available.

NYC train derailment kills 4, hurts more than 60

NEW YORK — A New York City commuter train rounding a riverside curve derailed and came to rest only inches from the water Sunday, killing four people, injuring more than 60 others and sending a chain of toppled cars shaped like a backward question mark trailing off the track, authorities said.

derailSome of the 100 to 150 passengers on the early morning Metro-North train from suburban Poughkeepsie to Manhattan said they were jolted awake around 7:20 a.m. to screams and the frightening sensation of their compartment rolling over on a bend where the Hudson and Harlem rivers meet in the Bronx. When the motion stopped, four or five of the seven cars were off the rails in the latest, and deadliest, example of this year’s troubles for the nation’s second-biggest commuter railroad.

“Four people lost their lives today in the holiday season, right after Thanksgiving,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference. One of the four was found outside the train, officials said. Eleven of the injured were believed to be critically injured and another six seriously hurt, according to the Fire Department. The train operator was among the injured, Cuomo said.

The National Transportation Safety Board was en route to investigate, and Cuomo would not speculate about the causes of the crash until the federal agency issued its findings. Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Thomas F. Prendergast noted that investigators would look at factors including the train, the track and signal system, the train operators and speed.

The big curve where the derailment occurred is in a slow-speed area. One passenger, Frank Tatulli told WABC-TV the train appeared to be going “a lot faster” than usual as it approached the curve coming into the Spuyten Duyvil station.

MTA spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said the train’s black box should be able to tell how fast the train was traveling, Anders said.

Read more here.