Americans depend on a safe, plentiful, affordable, and reliable supply of electricity, and expect that the lights will go on when they flip the switch.
When power outages or other emergencies occur, as they occasionally do, electric company service crews play a vital role in responding quickly to restore service. Just like firefighters and police officers, electric service crews work for the benefit of public safety.
To perform their work, these crews must be available to work at any time, operating service vehicles that are equipped with specialized tools and equipment designed to restore service promptly.
In 2003, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a Final Rule to promote highway safety by limiting the number of hours truck drivers can work. This rule inappropriately classified drivers of utility service vehicles in the same category as delivery truck drivers. EEI and its members successfully campaigned to make utility service vehicle drivers exempted from DOT's hours of service (HOS) regulations.
On August 10, 2005, President Bush signed into law a sweeping transportation bill (H.R. 3—Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users or 'SAFETEA-LU') containing an exemption for drivers of utility service vehicles from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA's) HOS regulations. The bill also prohibits states from enacting or enforcing HOS rules against utilities. Read more about the legislation on the FMCSA Web Site.
EEI Staff Contacts