Hours-of-service final rule
provisions remain in place
Nov 19, 2008 10:29 AM
Americaís 3.5 million truck drivers will be limited to driving 11 hours and working no more than 14 hours each day under the new hours-of-service (HOS) rule issued November 18 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
This final rule remains essentially the same as the interim final rule issued late in 2007. It takes effect January 19, 2009, the day before President-elect Barack Obama takes office.
The agency consulted with scientific and medical researchers, reviewed fatigue research, and worked with organizations such as the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies and the National Institute for Occupational Safety in setting the final HOS requirements, said FMCSA Administrator John Hill.
This federal rule requires all truck drivers to spend at least 10 hours resting between shifts before being allowed back on the road. Drivers also cannot operate a truck if they have worked more than 60 hours in a given week. Under the new rules, drivers who rest for at least 34 hours can also reset their weekly work schedule.
Hill said the rule would build on safety improvements already underway among the nationís truck operators. He noted, for example, that the number of large-truck fatalities declined for the third year in a row in 2007 with 4,808 fatalities, down from 5,240 in 2005. Meanwhile, safety data show that between 2004 and 2006, only one fatigue-related fatality occurred during a truck driverís 11th hour behind the wheel.
The final rule can be accessed by clicking here.
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