Block of Senators press FMCSA to evaluate hours of service reforms

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Nearly a third of the U.S. Senate penned a letter to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration boss Raymond Martinez last week calling on the agency to “explore improvements” that can be made to existing hours of service regulations for truck operators.

Thirty Senators, all but two of them Republican, signed the four-paragraph letter dated May 17. While it doesn’t mention specific reforms sought to hours of service, the letter urges FMCSA to “provide for a commonsense framework for drivers, rather than a one-size-fits-all model.”

“We suggest FMCSA examine a wide range of options to address HOS issues…including…providing certain allowances for unique businesses or driver operations, elimination of unnecessary requirements or improved utilization of non-driving time.”

Read the full letter and see the thirty signatories at this link.

The Senate letter is the latest of a seemingly growing movement to reform hours of service, driven in part by the onset of the electronic logging device mandate and its rigidity in ensuring hours compliance.

A bill was introduced in the U.S. House in March that would allow drivers to pause their 14-hour on-duty clock for up to three hours a day. Also introduced in the House in April was an amendment to a larger bill that would allow FMCSA to more quickly enact hours of service reforms by skipping a step in the rulemaking process. The amendment was later withdrawn, and the bill to allow a three-hour pause for the 14-hour clock has seen no action.

However, FMCSA Administrator Martinez told Overdrive in late March he intends to examine hours of service and possible reforms to the regs.

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