• ITVI.USA
    14,054.150
    145.300
    1%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.680
    -0.360
    -1.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    14,029.830
    142.650
    1%
  • TLT.USA
    2.640
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.540
    0.060
    2.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.460
    0.270
    12.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.360
    -0.040
    -2.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.910
    0.180
    6.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.490
    0.050
    3.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.130
    0.260
    9.1%
  • WAIT.USA
    108.000
    5.000
    4.9%
  • ITVI.USA
    14,054.150
    145.300
    1%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.680
    -0.360
    -1.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    14,029.830
    142.650
    1%
  • TLT.USA
    2.640
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.540
    0.060
    2.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.460
    0.270
    12.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.360
    -0.040
    -2.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.910
    0.180
    6.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.490
    0.050
    3.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.130
    0.260
    9.1%
  • WAIT.USA
    108.000
    5.000
    4.9%
Driver issuesNewsTrucking Regulation

FMCSA looking into petition to delay HOS rule changes

Mullen stresses agency remains “bullish” on keeping final rule in place

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) confirmed that it is studying a petition by safety groups and labor to halt the final hours of service (HOS) rule despite the agency strongly backing the changes it made that are scheduled to go into effect on September 29.

Speaking at a meeting of FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee on Monday, July 13, Mullen acknowledged that “not everybody agrees with [FMCSA’s position]. There’s a petition for reconsideration which we’re considering, but we do believe that the hours of service [changes] can provide the flexibility for drivers needed so that they can operate more safely.”

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and four safety groups, including Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, filed a petition July 1 asserting that the four HOS rule changes issued last month will exacerbate driver fatigue. On the same day, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a $1.5 billion infrastructure investment bill that also includes a provision to delay the rule.

Mullen also announced at the meeting that FMCSA was once more extending its national emergency exemption for HOS for another 30 days, through Aug. 14. The previous extension announced in June was scheduled to expire on July 14.

“We all are seeing what’s happening with the increased cases, and hopefully that gets back on the decline, but we felt it was prudent to continue that emergency declaration for another 30 days,” Mullen said. The extension applies to haulers of livestock and beef, medical and healthcare supplies, and sanitation supplies and equipment used to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants.

Mullen also noted that even though most state driver licensing agencies have reopened to process commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs), commercial learner’s permits (CLPs), and medical certificates after many had closed during the initial wave of the pandemic, many states are experiencing a processing backlog. “So we’re working with states to continue to grant waivers for medical certificates, CDLs and CLPs until the end of September,” he said.

In an update of the FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, the results so far have exceeded the agency’s expectations, Mullen said, noting that the database has registered over 21,000 CDL holders who have tested positive for drugs or alcohol.

“I guess it’s a good thing that we’re catching these individuals who ought not be driving commercial motor vehicles unless they go through the return-to-duty program,” Mullen said. “But the bad side is there are 21,000 drivers out there who over the last six months tested positive. It’s obvious that this is a much-needed regulatory measure to prevent drivers from jumping from motor carrier to motor carrier and not have a positive drug test detected.”

Regarding drug testing, Mullen confirmed that guidelines on hair testing for drugs – a policy that the agency supports – have yet to be issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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John Gallagher, Washington Correspondent

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.

8 Comments

  1. Yeah that’s great. Keep the job nearly impossible to do in 14 hours. You might want to keep track of the recent upward trend in truck crashes. Maybe you can find something unrelated to blame it on.

  2. No industry is more scrutinized than truckers. My wife had back surgery, the surgeon quit before the procedure was complete…6 months later the procedure was completed. Two stories to recovery times.
    The surgeon had performed on duty for 12 hours, before the procedure began…we waited 4 hours for it to begin…we are thankful for the dedication of the medical profession, and I am grateful for those safe hard working drivers who deal with the scrutiny of everyone and are suspected first in an accident…
    You all have heard the stories. Thank you for your safe operation and hard work.

  3. Will i think the hos that is in place right now are good for most except the ten hour rest should be changed to a 8 hour rest and the other 2 hours should be split to 15 and 12 that way it would give the driver the option if he or she wants to take extra time off they can or if they choose to work a longer day they can do that to but keep the 30 minute break with in the first 8 hours as for the drug and alcohol testing goes the hair sample is not needed the urine test is working they should take maijauna and the centhetic pain medicine off the list because the weed is practically legal now the pain medicine most people who take it has been in this industry for a long time and thier bodies are beat all to hell or they have had back surgery but are still able to work as long as there not suffering everyday this has never been on the list until January 2018 and it has caused so many drivers to retire or go disability or lost there job for something they have been doing for years i no because i am one of them i took pain meds for 12 years after having back surgery an drove every day of my life and i have 25 years of sage driving no tickets or accidents if they want to know what causes accident it unexspiereced driver going to fast if you don’t have over 3 years experience you should not be able to go over 65 mph these kids that are getting into trucks have no business driving a truck that goes any faster because they dont have no common courtesy and they think there in a car so longer training time and slower trucks would prevent a lot of wrecks

  4. So what? These changes addressed nothing concerning the 14 hour rule. We will continue to push ourselves while fatigued, tired and sick. Basically the Feds are telling us that we are robots and our lives don’t matter.

  5. We are truckers. It is our job to deliver whatever we are carrying safely. The majority rule is we drive safely. How about DMV placing questions on non CDL drivers asking how quick can a tractor trailer stop carrying any load? Do they know? Seriously doubt it otherwise they wouldn’t pull in front of you slow down, stop, or immediately make a turn! Keep ALL of us safe! Educate EVERY driver!

  6. Self driving trucks? Are they flawless? Don’t put them on the road until they are! How would they possibly predict a driver in a car doing something unpredictable until it’s happening? A bot have quick reflexes? NO! We stopped at the designated times to rest, true, but you fail to mention if we feel that we need to be off the road, we get off. We have intelligence and good common sense! If we stop every 4 hours….that is going to delay deliveries and companies expecting on time as usual will be frustrated because the carrier CANNOT keep their agreement. Bad business. Think it through a bit longer and re-think every scenario before making a final decision please. Thank you!

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