Final hours rule ready
The White House Office of Management and Budget has finished reviewing the final rule for truck drivers’ hours of service, meaning the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration could publish the rule at any time.
FMCSA said in a court filing Monday, Nov. 28, that it had expected to issue the final rule within 30 days.
The American Trucking Associations said at the time it hoped the agency would “use the extra time to consider the overwhelming input it has received from thousands of drivers and law enforcement officers that the current rule is working. There’s no need to break something that’s not broken.”
ATA President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Graves also wrote a letter to Cass Sunstein, OMB’s administrator of Information and Regulatory Affairs, questioning whether “legitimate reason” existed to change the current rules.
Under the current proposal, FMCSA is, among other changes, considering whether to reduce the daily driving limit from 11 hours to 10 hours and has proposed to limit the 34-hour restart provision by requiring that it include two periods from midnight to 6 a.m. and limiting its use to once per week. ATA and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association have said the proposal is costly and unnecessary since studies indicate safety improvements under the 2008 rule.
In 2009, FMCSA had entered into a settlement agreement with safety advocacy groups and the Teamsters union to revisit the 2008 rule and publish a revised rule. This agreement stipulated if the agency produces a “substantially different” rule from the current one, this “may” eliminate the need for further judicial review. FMCSA initially faced a July 26 deadline to publish the rule but since has been granted a series of extensions by the court.