Dept. of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a new proposal to revise hours-of-service (HOS) rules, that would make minor changes to the existing “restart” provisions. This is only a proposal at this time and is not final.
The latest in a string of FMCSA HOS rulemaking proposals, this one would retain the existing 34-hour “restart” provision that DOT said allows drivers to “restart the clock” on their weekly 60 or 70 hours by taking at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty.
Under this the New HOS rules proposal, the restart period would have to include two consecutive off-duty periods from midnight to 6:00 a.m., presumably to ensure drivers get two nights off in a row. Drivers would be allowed to use this restart only once during a seven-day period, noted DOT.
The proposed rule would require truckers “to complete all driving within a 14-hour workday, and to complete all on-duty work-related activities within 13 hours to allow for at least a one- hour break.”
DOT leaves open for comment whether drivers should be limited to 10 or 11 hours of daily driving time, although FMCSA currently favors a 10-hour limit.
According to DOT, other key provisions of the proposed rule include:
* Option of extending a driver’s daily shift to 16 hours twice a week “to accommodate for issues such as loading and unloading at terminals or ports”
* Allowing drivers to “count some time spent parked in their trucks toward off-duty hours.”
Additionally, truckers in violation of this proposed rule would face civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense. Trucking companies that allow their drivers to violate the proposal’s driving limits would face penalties of up to $11,000 for each offense.
DOT stated that publication of the proposed rule “coincides with the timeframe established in a court settlement agreement that requires FMCSA to publish a final HOS rule by July 26, 2011.”
The rule making will be published in the Federal Register on December 29 and the public will then have 60 days to comment. Click here
for information on how to submit comments and read the exact proposal.