The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association submits input to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as changes are considered.
OOIDA said this week that call was among the comments it filed this week as part of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration asked for input from the trucking community about updating regulations to alleviate unnecessary burdens and improve safety.
OOIDA also wants drivers to be allowed to take rest breaks once per 14-hour duty period for up to three consecutive hours as long as they are off duty. The association also recommended expanding split-sleeper berth flexibility and updating the definition of the “adverse conditions” exception and applying it to the 14-hour clock, among other HOS changes that would benefit highway safety.
The association said its members have expressed their concerns about regulations that force them to be on the road when they are tired, during busy travel times and in adverse weather or road conditions. Their schedules also are at the mercy of shippers and receivers and other obstacles that create a conflict between operating both safely and in compliance with federal regulations, OOIDA said.
“Small-business truckers are the safest and most diverse operators on the road,” said OOIDA President Todd Spencer. “Yet for far too long the federal government has failed to grasp the importance of this diversity and continues to burden the trucking industry with a one-size-fits-all approach that punishes small businesses, stifles competition and overregulates an industry deregulated by design.”
OOIDA claimed crash rates have increased since HOS regulations have been in place, making it clear that drivers need more control over their schedules.
“We believe that these changes, if implemented, will not only help the trucking industry and improve highway safety but can drive economic growth across the country, creating new opportunities and greater job satisfaction for millions of hardworking Americans,” Spencer said.