FMCSA takes another crack at daily drive limits for truckers
The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said it will seek comments on a proposed new work rule covering hours of service for commercial truck drivers.
The FMCSA, a Department of Transportation agency, said it will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in Monday’s Federal Register to regulate the amount of time commercial truck drivers can operate their vehicles.
New hours-of-service rules that added an extra hour of behind-the-wheel time to the 10-hour daily limit, but restricted the overall work day, went into effect January 2004. Last summer a federal appeals court directed the agency to more specifically consider the new rule’s impact on the health of drivers.
The court also criticized the ruling on other fronts, but did not mandate other changes. Congress gave the agency until Sept. 30 to fix the rule, keeping the current rule in effect until then so as to minimize industry disruption.
FMCSA Administrator Annette Sandberg recently said her agency will address other issues raised by the court, such as sleeper berths and electronic on-board recorders.
The comment period is compressed to 45 days from the normal 60 to 90 days because the deadline set by Congress for a final rule.