Bill again seeks permanent hours exemption for agriculture

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The agricultural exemption to federal hours of service rules would be made permanent by a bill introduced in the U.S. House.

“We look forward to it being included in any highway reauthorization bill passed in the 109th Congress,” said Fletcher Hall, executive director of the Agricultural Food Transporters Conference of the American Trucking Associations.

Guaranteeing that truckers of produce and farm supplies can drive longer hours during the busy planting and harvest seasons will ensure “the ability of our nation to safely meet the food demands of consumers from farm to fork,” Hall said.

The primary sponsors of the legislation, introduced Feb. 2, are Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Colin Peterson, D-Minn. Peterson is the ranking Democrat on the agriculture and transportation committees.

An identical measure was passed by the House in 2004 but failed to make the final House-Senate highway bill.