Thursday, December 22, 2011

New HOS rule keeps 11-hour limit

This just in: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released the long-awaited final rule on hours of service for commercial drivers. Here's the Journal of Commerce on the rule:
Federal safety regulators issued tougher new hours of service regulations for truck drivers on Thursday, maintaining the 11-hour daily limit that shippers and carriers says is central to U.S. domestic supply chains but also creating tighter requirements for rest periods and total weekly time on the road.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration did not reduce the daily limit to 10 hours or less as logistics industry executives had feared, but the rule requires a 30-minute rest after eight consecutive hours of driving and it cuts the weekly total hours from the current 82 hours to 70.
The changes, the first in the core regulation covering truck driver fatigue since 2003, are the less dramatic than the original regulation the FMCSA had outlined in a preliminary notice. But it also redraws the so-called “34-hour restart” provision that resets driver work clocks to require rest periods at specific times and to reduce the overall work week.
Here's the Teamsters' official response from General President Jim Hoffa:
We said all along that an hours of service rule has to protect highway safety and our truck drivers’ health. We are reviewing the new rule, and in the coming weeks we will meet and discuss it with our allies and, if necessary, determine our next course of action.