My friends at the Truck Safety Coalition provide the following information about public hearings on proposed new Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules. As part of the process of preparing for the new Hours of Service proposed rulemaking, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is holding three public listening sessions to solicit comments. The public can also submit comments to the docket if they are not able to attend the sessions. The sessions are from 9 am – 5 pm or earlier if all participants wishing to express their view have done so. They are:
- January 19, Doubletree Hotel Crystal City National Airport (Commonwealth Ballroom), 300 Army Navy Dr., Arlington, VA;
- January 22, Hyatt Regency DFW, International Pwy., DFW Airport, TX;
- January 25, Doubletree LAX (Pacific Ballroom), 1985 East Grand Ave., El Segundo, CA.
If you are able to attend a listening session, please contact the Truck Safety Coalition at 703-294-6404. (Speakers remarks are limited to 10 minutes each.)
On October 26, 2009, the Truck Safety Coalition, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Public Citizen, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the FMCSA entered into a settlement agreement which requires the FMCSA to submit a draft notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to the Office of Management and Budget within nine months and publish a Final Rule within 21 months.
The Bush administration increased the number of daily and weekly hours truckers can drive from 10 to 11 consecutive hours per 14-hour shift and total driving hours from 60 to 70 per driver every eight days. The rule dramatically expanded driving and work hours by cutting the off-duty rest and recovery time at the end of the week.
The groups have petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals a total of three times, most recently in March 2009. In 2004, the court vacated the hours of service rule on the grounds that the government did not adequately consider the effects of longer driving hours on individual truck driver health and traffic safety, and in 2007 because the agency did not let the public examine and comment on the new crash risk analysis used by the agency to support reissuing the same exact rule.
We expect that there will be comments from numerous truck drivers and the trucking industry. It is critical that the voice of survivor volunteers be heard.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Truck Safety Coalition. The Coalition will be putting together some talking points to assist with your efforts.
The Coalition can also provide a follow up alert with information on how to submit comments to the docket, in case you cannot attend one of the sessions.
For more information, contact John Lannen, Executive Director, Truck Safety Coalition, 703 294-6404.