Proposed Amendments to Current HOS Regulations
HOS regulations put limits on when and for how long commercial motor vehicle operators may drive. These strictly-enforced requirements are designed to ensure truck drivers receive the necessary rest to perform safe operations on U.S. roadways. On the forefront of this issue is Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who states that the proposed rule is designed to foster “an environment where commercial truck drivers are rested, alert and focused on safety while on the job.”
The FMCSA issued its proposed rule in late December and accepted public comments through the beginning of March 2011, much of which has not been favorable. With the economy in mind, a coalition has formed against the proposal, citing that the new regulations would substantially reduce productivity, increase the driver shortage and have a negative impact on the economy.
But what exactly would change? Below is a list of proposed amendments to the current HOS regulations:
• Reduce the maximum amount of hours truckers can drive from 11 hours to 10 hours.
• The 34-hour restart period remains intact, but it would require two consecutive off-duty periods from midnight to 6 a.m. during the restart.
• No alterations to the 60- or 70 hour-window work week. However, drivers are limited to one restart during a seven-day period.
• Drivers must complete all on-duty work-related activities, including non-driving, within 13 hours to allow for a mandatory one-hour break.
• Drivers will not be allowed to drive more than seven hours without taking at least a 30-minute break.
• Extend a driver’s daily shift to 16 hours twice a week to accommodate for lost time loading and unloading at terminals or ports.
• Time spent parked in their trucks may count toward off-duty hours, whether the driver is in the sleeper or not.
Truck drivers who violate 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. Mexican and Canadian drivers operating in the United States would also have to comply with the new HOS regulations and provide their records of duty (RODS) for the previous seven days.
For more information, visit the FMCSA website at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/HOS to review a copy of the rulemaking proposal and current HOS regulations. CIT Group, Inc. wishes you a safe, compliant journey on the road. Check back for often at www.cittrucks.com for updated news. Article by Kenworth Parts Insider 3-17-11.