Hours-of-Service study to reach Congress several months later than planned

- Transport Topics reported on Nov. 20 that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) anticipates delays of several months—through February—for implementation of its revised hours-of-service (HOS) restart rule for truck drivers. A congressionally mandated study for the rules that was due in December likely will not reach Congress until mid-February, after the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General finishes its review. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, which was contracted by the agency, spent five month collecting data to address whether the rule has safety benefits and is better for drivers in terms of fatigue, health and work schedules.

That law suspended FMCSA’s rule requiring truck drivers to take off two consecutive periods of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. during a 34-hour restart. Truckers still have to adhere to HOS regulations set prior to July 2013.

On June 18, the Federal Register included a notice that FMCSA had granted SC&RA’s request for a limited exemption from the HOS rule for commercial drivers. Drivers operating on an Oversize/Overweight (OS/OW) permit are exempted from the 30-minute break Hours of Service provision even if a portion of the hours leading up to the break period was driven on a non-permitted move. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said the exemption applies at the point in time when the rest break becomes mandatory and the load is OS/OW under permit. That exemption is set to expire on June 18, 2017, but SC&RA can file for renewal for two additional years.

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