Advocacy efforts by the American Bakers Association (ABA) have successfully led to the inclusion of language permanently fixing the Department of Transportation’s Hours of Service 34-Hour Restart requirement in a federal spending bill that passed earlier today.
“ABA 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, ABA President and CEO. “We hope this brings to a close the uncertainty for bakers surrounding their distribution operations dating back to the 1990’s.”
Since 2013, ABA has been fighting to remove changes to the 34-hour restart rule that requires two consecutive nights off for drivers between 1-5 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 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.
“By returning to the pre-July 2013 restart, baking industry drivers can utilize this vital tool and continue to deliver fresh, wholesome products in the safest way possible,” added MacKie. “This clarity reduces a significant regulatory burden on bakers, particularly smaller bakers, and allows them to operate more efficiently while maintaining safety.”