Posted On: January 11, 2011 by Steven J. Malman

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Proposes Changes to Hours-of-Service Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently revealed its proposed rulemaking to the hours-of-service regulations. The proposal lowers the on-duty time to 13 hours while extending the workday to 14 hours and allowing for a one-hour off duty break in between.

The 34-hour restart, which lets drivers resume their 60- to 70- hour shifts after taking 34 consecutive hours off, remains the same except for two restrictions: The restart could only occur once over a seven-day period and would include two overnight rest periods. Other provisions involve the option of twice a week allowing a driver’s shift to last 16 hours to allow for the loading and unloading of cargo and letting drivers count time spent in their parked trucks toward off-duty time.

The FMCSA is now inviting comments on its proposal, which includes the lowering of a trucker’s daily drive time from 11 hours to 10 hours. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood emphasized the government’s commitment to an hours-of-service rule that only allows for truck drivers who are alert, rested, and able to focus on their job.

Drowsy driving is considered one of the most common causes of large truck crashes. The long, odd hours on nondescript freeways contribute to causing a driver to become sleepy or unable to concentrate while behind the steering wheel. Meantime, the American Trucking Associations is speaking out against the FMCSA’s proposal. The ATA says that the proposal places “unnecessary restrictions” on professional truckers, while “substantially reducing” productivity. ATA President and CEO Bill Graves says the proposed changes would be very costly for the trucking industry and the economy. The FMCSA has until July 26, 2011 to publish its final HOS rule.

Chicago Truck Accidents
Chicago truck crashes that occur because the driver was tired, sleepy, or distracted could have likely been prevented. Following the federal government’s safety rules is one way to keep these types of Illinois truck collisions, which often lead to such catastrophic consequences, from happening. Contact our Chicago truck collision law firm today.

FMCSA Issues Proposed Rule on Hours-of-Service Requirements for Commercial Truck Drivers, FMCA, December 23, 2010

FMCSA unveils proposed HOS regs, Landlinemag, December 23, 2010
Truckers slam FMCSA driver hours proposal, DC Velocity, December 28, 2010

Hours-of-Service (HOS) Proposed Rulemaking (December 2010), FMCSA

Truck Accidents, Justia

Drowsy Driving & Fatigue

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