The decision by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to reopen the official hours of service (HOS) rulemaking docket last week is but “one more step” in the regulatory process the agency needs to undertake as it closes in on finalizing potential changes to those rules.
FMCSA re-opened the docket specifically to add four studies upon which it plans base changes to HOS regulations. Those studies are:
- The Impact of Driving, Non-Driving Work, and Rest Breaks on Driving Performance in Commercial Motor Vehicle Operations;
- Hours of Service and Driver Fatigue-Driver Characteristics Research;
- Analysis of the Relationship Between Operator Cumulative Driving Hours and Involvement in Preventable Collisions;
- Potential Causes Of Driver Fatigue: A Study On Transit Bus Operators In Florida.
David Heller, director of safety and policy for the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), explained that FMCSA had to add these studies to the HOS docket in order to allow for public review of the background information the agency plans to cite in defense of any changes to HOS rules.
“They must allow the general public 30 days to review the information,” Heller told Fleet Owner. “It’s all part of the regulatory process. You must first lay out all the data and information you plan to cite in support of new rules or changes to existing rules.”However, FMCSA also acknowledged more time will be needed to allow for public review of these studies, so it plans to push back the publication of finalize HOS rules to an as-yet-undetermined d