By now, nearly everyone in the transportation industry is aware that FMCSA announced its amended hours-of-service (HOS) rules just a few days before Christmas.
While truck drivers’ daily driving limits remained capped at 11 hours, their weekly hours were cut from 82 to 70 hours. Another major change demands that drivers’ 34-hour restarts must include two rest periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Visit FMCSA’s website to read the final rule in its entirety.
This news of reduced hours isn’t exactly new to the industry. For more than two years now, FMCSA has been debating with the American Trucking Associations (ATA), carriers, and drivers alike on the issue.
FMCSA says its goal is to “reduce excessively long work hours that increase both the risk of fatigue-related crashes and long-term health problems for drivers. A rule cannot ensure that drivers will be rested, but it can ensure that they have enough time off to obtain adequate rest on a daily and weekly basis.”
ATA president and CEO Bill Graves disagrees with FMCSA’s viewpoint.
“From the beginning of this process in October 2009, the agency set itself on a course to fix a rule that’s not only not broken, but by all objective accounts is working to improve highway safety.”
The rule’s effective date is set at February 27, 2012, but the date of compliance is still some time away – July 1, 2013.
Readers, share your opinions on the amended HOS rules. Who will be affected most by these changes? Drivers, what will you, personally, have to change about your daily driving job?