FMCSA plans to reconsider HOS regulations

Oct. 28, 2009
The Federal Motor Carrier Administration plans to reconsider—and perhaps revise—its hours-of-service (HOS) rule for commercial drivers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Administration plans to reconsider—and perhaps revise—its hours-of-service (HOS) rule for commercial drivers. This action puts on hold a federal court challenge by a coalition of interest groups including Public Citizen, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, The Truck Safety Coalition, and the Teamsters.

As part of the agreement, FMCSA has nine months to submit its review to the White House and up to 21 months to issue a new final rule to replace the current one. Until that time, the current rule remains in effect.

Issued during the Bush administration, the current HOS regulation contains the 11-hour driving cycle first announced in 2003. That was an increase in truck driving hours from the previous rule. Under the current rule, truckers can drive 11 hours a day as part of a 14-hour workday and to refresh their weekly allotment of hours by taking a 34-hour break. The Court of Appeals for the Washington DC Circuit struck down the current rule in 2004, but Congress revived it as part of the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2004.

An official who asked not to be identified said the move was “procedural,” and the agreement does not bind FMCSA to a particular outcome. The official said it is possible the rule won’t change after the review, but warned that it could.

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