FMCSA extends HOS comment period, plans listening sessions in Joplin, Mo., and Orlando, Fla.

September 18, 2018

Mark Schremmer

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will grant a “short” extension to the comment period for an advance notice of proposed rulemaking regarding potential changes to hours-of-service regulations, Land Line confirmed on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

In addition, sources confirmed that FMCSA scheduled public listening sessions concerning its hours-of-service rules on Sept. 28 at the Guilty By Association Truck Show in Joplin, Mo., and on Oct. 2 in Orlando, Fla. The agency previously announced listening sessions on Sept. 22 in Reno, Nev., and Oct. 10 in the Washington, D.C., area. A listening session planned for Sept. 14 in Washington, D.C, was postponed because of Hurricane Florence.

The extension, which is expected to be less than 30 days, is scheduled to publish in the Federal Register on Thursday, Sept. 20. The comment period was originally scheduled to end on Sept. 24. As of Tuesday morning, more than 2,500 comments had been filed.

FMCSA published the advance notice of proposed rulemaking on Aug. 23 asking for comments and data about possible HOS changes regarding short-haul operations, adverse driving conditions, the 30-minute break, and split-sleeper berth.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association was out in front of the call for change to hours of service as the Association submitted a petition to FMCSA on Feb. 13. The petition asked for regulations to allow drivers to take a rest break once per 14-hour duty period for three consecutive hours if the driver is off-duty. OOIDA also asked for the agency to eliminate the 30-minute rest break requirement.

FMCSA has said it set an original comment period of 30 days to expedite the process and provide truck drivers flexibility within the hours of service as soon as possible.

OOIDA said it still plans to submit its comments before the original deadline.

“While we didn’t request an extension of the comment period, we recognize that some stakeholders might need more time,” said Mike Matousek, OOIDA’s manager of government affairs. “However, we’re not thrilled that this is delaying what is already going to be a long process.”

The Guilty By Association Truck Show will be Sept. 27-29 and will also serve as a celebration for OOIDA’s 45th anniversary of fighting for the rights of all truckers. Members of OOIDA’s leadership team will be at the event to meet truck drivers and answer questions.

According to the GBATS schedule, the listening session will start at 3:30 p.m. CDT on Friday, Sept. 28 in 4 State Trucks’ shop area behind the main store.

MATS

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.