New Date for HOS Final Ruling
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has again pushed back the deadline for the public to weigh in on the driver Hours-Of-Service (HOS) proposed rule making. The original deadline for public comment was March 8th; however 4 new studies have been added to the docket so the public is yet again allowed to voice their opinion. Comments can be made until the new deadline of June 8th. As a result of the later deadline, the FMCSA will not make their final ruling on July 26th, which was their original plan. The new date for the finalized ruling is tentatively scheduled for October 28th.
As stated above, 4 new HOS related studies will now be taken into account. The general results taken from the studies back up the FMCSA’s argument and tell a lot of information that was already known. For example, safety risk increases as work and driving time increases. This seems obvious, but the studies do go into a lot more detail. The studies seem to be added to the debate because the American Trucking Association (ATA) and others against the proposal were questioning the validity of the FMCSA’s research and data. Dave Osiecki, Senior Vice President of the American Trucking Association, really stressed the FMCSA to put facts and data first and not politics. The FMCSA was getting their facts from a study of 12 people conducted at an in-residence laboratory and released a few weeks before the agency’s proposal. The study recommended “validation of the study findings . . . in a real-world field study,” Osiecki said.
The four studies are:
These studies hope to stop the debate over the FMCSA’s supposedly poor data and get the proposal on track again. Until June 8th the debate is still on and the public is encouraged to comment on the matter. To submit your comments you can do any of the following:
- Online, go to www.regulations.gov. In the ‘‘Document Type’’ drop-down menu, select ‘‘Proposed Rules,’’ insert ‘‘FMCSA–2004–19608’’ in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box, and click ‘‘Search.’’ When the new screen appears, click on ‘‘Submit a Comment’’ in the ‘‘Actions’’column.
- Fax comments to (202) 493-2251.
- Mail comments to Docket Management Facility (M–30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590–0001.
- Hand deliver comments to the same address as the mailed comments between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. The telephone number is (202) 366–9329.