The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced that it will not delay the enforcement of the latest changes to the hours-of-service (HOS) rule for truck drivers as requested by the American Trucking Association.
The ATA had made a request in a Jan. 25 letter that asked the FMCSA to hold off enforcing the rule until three months after the ATA’s pending lawsuit is decided. The federation is suing in federal court to have the rule overturned, saying that the industry and law enforcement would need months to train and prepare for the changes. The ATA also stated that the agency overstated the role fatigue plays in truck crashes and that the rule is too restrictive.
FMCSA denied the request saying that the ATA did not demonstrate enough harm to the industry and law enforcement to merit such a delay. Senior vice president of policy and regulatory affairs at ATA, David Osieki, stated “FMCSA’s response means that carriers and FMCSA-funded state enforcement agencies will have to spend time and money on training and adapting systems to a rule whose final form will not be certain until the courts issue a decision.”
The changes to the HOS regulations are set to take effect July 1. The new regulations will restrict how drivers can use the optional 34-hour restart to reset their weekly driving limits of 60 hours in seven days, or 70 hours in eight days. Drivers will only be able to use the restart once every seven days, and it must include two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. In addition, drivers will also have to take a 30-minute break before driving more than eight hours continuously under the new regulations.
Below is a table from the U.S. Department of Administration: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website that shows the changes to the hours-of-service regulations in more detail.
Comparison Table of HOS Changes
More information on the HOS regulations can be found on the U.S. Department of Administration: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.