FMCSA Delays Public Release of HOS Proposed Rule

drivers at truck stop restaurant
Drivers take a break at a Travel Centers of America restaurant. (Travel Centers/TA/Petro)

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The long-anticipated Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours-of-service proposed rule has been delayed from its original release date of June 7.

FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez said in an interview that his agency is targeting a release in June, but the rule has been delayed due to continuing questions from the White House Office of Management and Budget.



“We’ll turn it around as fast as possible once OMB finishes its review,” Martinez said.

A FMCSA spokesperson said in a statement: “FMCSA’s proposed rule on changes to the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations continues to be reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  The timelines in the Department’s regulatory updates serve as goals for the Agency and are reflective of FMCSA’s plan to move quickly during this rulemaking process. The Agency is hopeful the rule will be published soon.” 

A Department of Transportation significant rulemaking report removed the projected date of release for the rule intended to give truckers more flexibility from June 7, and changed the date to the month of June.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has been under OMB review since late March.

FMCSA officials combed through thousands of comments and gathered input on potential rule changes for months before submitting the NPRM to the White House. The agency published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Aug. 23 concerning the shorthaul HOS limit, the HOS exception for adverse driving conditions, the 30-minute rest-break provision and the split sleeper-berth rule to allow drivers to divide their required rest time in the sleeper berth.

The ANPRM garnered more than 5,200 comments by the time the comment period closed Oct. 10. The agency also hosted five listening sessions nationwide to gather industry feedback.

In its ANPRM, the agency sought answers from stakeholders in four general areas:

• Should the agency expand the current 100 air-mile “shorthaul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, to be consistent with the workday rules for longhaul truck drivers?

• Is there adequate flexibility in the adverse driving exception that currently expands driving time by up to two hours?

• If the 30-minute rest break after eight hours of driving did not exist, would drivers obtain adequate rest breaks throughout a daily driving period to relieve fatigue?

• Do you have information that would support reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks with sleeper-berth compartments?