Notice of proposed rulemaking for hours of services reaches 90-day mark at OMB

June 26, 2019

Mark Schremmer

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The FMCSA’s notice of proposed rulemaking regarding hours-of-service reform has reached the 90-day mark at the Office of Management and Budget but is still listed as “pending review.”

The rulemaking, which is promised to provide more flexibility to truck drivers within the hours-of-service regulations, was sent to OMB for review on March 28. OMB allows for up to 90 days for review of proposed rules. The 90-day mark was reached on June 26, but OMB allows for one 30-day extension, and there is still no assurance a rule will clear. For example, a proposed speed-limiter rule was under review at OMB for more than a year before being killed.

Meanwhile, truck drivers keep waiting in hope that a revised hours of service will provide them greater flexibility within the regulations. There has been an outcry for hours-of-service reform since the electronic logging mandate went into effect in December 2017.

Last week, FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez told a Senate committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation that he expected the rulemaking to be made public in “short order.”

Martinez and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao also have promised drivers that the revised hours of service will, indeed, grant drivers more flexibility.

“You wanted flexibility. We listened,” Chao told a packed room of truck drivers at the Mid-America Trucking Show on March 29 in Louisville, Ky.

“Please know that we want to provide greater flexibility for drivers while maintaining the highest degree of safety as we move forward with this work,” Martinez told the Senate committee. 

The agency issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking about the hours of service in August 2018. FMCSA hosted five public listening sessions on the topic and received more than 5,200 comments.

Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, associate 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 nearly two decades of journalism experience to our staff.