FMCSA Reopens HOS Comment Period
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said May 6 it was reopening its hours-of-service proposed rule to public comments in order to allow review of four new studies.

FMCSA did not immediately say how long it would extend the comment period, but the agency is under a court-ordered deadline to post a final rule by July 26. The previous HOS comment period ended March 4.

The four studies are related to driver fatigue, FMCSA said in a statement. The agency posted links to the studies on its website.

American Trucking Associations, which has challenged the proposed rule, said that because of “serious questions about the research and data used by FMCSA to justify its proposed changes to the regulations, the agency may have determined it could not move forward with development of a final rule.”

ATA said it will carefully review the methodologies, findings and merits of the studies and submit comments to FMCSA accordingly. There has been overwhelming opposition within the trucking industry to the proposed HOS rule.

“ATA believes decisions about the future of this important regulation should be made based on sound science and research and not political pressure, but we’re clearly skeptical of new research that has been discovered or generated by DOT at the ‘11th hour,’” ATA’s president, Bill Graves, said in a statement.

The proposed rule, announced on Dec. 23, adds one hour of off-duty time within an allowed 14-hour workday, limits consecutive driving hours to seven and allows two 16-hour work days a week if the daily driving limit has been met.
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