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FMCSA’s proposed HOS changes now expected July 31

Comment period to follow through Sept. 16.

The highly anticipated hours-of-service (HOS) rule changes are now scheduled for publication on July 31, according to the Department of Transportation’s latest report on significant rulemakings. It was originally scheduled for June 7.

The DOT report, which includes information and updates on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as well as the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Highway Administration and other groups, also noted that the public comment period will now go through Sept. 16.

“The introduction of electronic logging devices and their ability to accurately record hours-of-service (HOS) compliance for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) have prompted numerous requests from Congress and the public for FMCSA to consider revising certain HOS provisions,” explained the DOT report. “To address these requests, FMCSA seeks public input and data that the Agency could use in a future proposal.”

In FMCSA’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published Aug. 23, 2018, four questions were asked publicly so it could better define what trucking industry stakeholders thought. The more than 5,200 responses are being considered as the DOT prepares its proposals. The questions were:

  • Should the agency expand the current 100 air-mile “shorthaul” exemption from 12 hours on duty to 14 hours on duty, to be consistent with the workday rules for longhaul truck drivers?
  • Is there adequate flexibility in the adverse driving exception that currently expands driving time by up to two hours?
  • If the 30-minute rest break after eight hours of driving did not exist, would drivers obtain adequate rest breaks throughout a daily driving period to relieve fatigue?
  • Do you have information that would support reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks with sleeper-berth compartments?
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