Trucking association hails
new rule on driver HOS
Dec 12, 2007 10:43 AM
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) welcomes the interim final rule on drivers’ hours of service issued December 11 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
This rule retains key components of the 2004 rule, which ATA has supported because in four years it has led to significant decreases in the number of fatal large truck crashes, the fatal large truck crash rate, the number of injuries from truck-involved crashes, and the injury crash rate.
"FMCSA has made an important contribution to highway safety by keeping in force hours of service rules that have led to a reduction in deaths and injuries over the last several years," said Bill Graves, ATA president.
The new rule reflects research that shows the regulations in effect since 2004 (except for a change in sleeper berth regulations in October 2005) promote driver alertness and enhance highway safety. Components of the rule include:
•Increasing from eight to 10 hours the minimum amount of time that drivers must be off-duty between shifts, providing a greater opportunity for seven to eight hours of sleep.
•Reducing the maximum daily on-duty time by one hour from 15 to 14 and eliminating the provision allowing this time be "tolled" by breaks.
•Providing a maximum 11-hour driving time per shift to complete runs safely.
•Promoting schedules nearer to a 24-hour circadian cycle;
•Allowing for a minimum of 34 consecutive off-duty hours of rest, recovery, and restart to eliminate potential sleep debt.
The interim final rule is in effect while the agency collects more data on the safety impact of the two challenged provisions. ATA will work with its members during the next stage of the HOS rulemaking process to document motor carriers’ safety experiences under the 11- and 34-hour provisions.
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