The study is done, and the question about safety on the convoluted, confusing and downright silly 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.restart rule have been finally put to rest. Surprise surprise, it was no safer than the current restart rules.
If we can remember back to the old rule in 2013, a driver was able to reset their 60-hour or 70-hour clocks once every 168 hours by taking 34 hours off, but it must include two periods of time between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. This required drivers to wait until 5 a.m. to start their clock again despite how many actual hours they had off before hand. These greatly limited drivers. The rule was challenged and temporarily changed in 2014 to its current form where a driver can reset their 60-hour or 70-hour clocks by taking 34 hours off at any time, as many times as they want. More legal wrangling, some Congress omissions, more questions and finally a study was ordered to determine which reset rule was ultimately safer.
The study “did not explicitly identify a net benefit from the use of the two suspended provisions of the restart rule on driver operations, safety, fatigue, and health.” Meaning, one was not safer than the other.
Finally, the whole mess can be put behind us, and the current rules are going to stay.
Source: Current 34-hour restart regs to stay put following issuance of long-awaited FMCSA report