• FMCSA Proposes Necessary HOS Reform

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    FMCSA Proposes Necessary HOS Reform
    Wednesday, August 22, 2018 – Yesterday, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) that proposes to make changes to commercial motor vehicle driver hours of service regulations (HOS), some of which are changes that PMAA has sought over the past years.
    The proposed changes include:
    • A PMAA-New England Fuel Institute (NEFI) request that would expand the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers.
    • Extending the current 14 hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions which will help drivers during bad weather events before an HOS waiver is issued. PMAA has worked extensively on efforts to help drivers deliver fuel as quickly and as safely as possible during disasters, including quick responses on waiver requests and interim measures.
    • Extending the current 14 hour on-duty limitation to allow for up to a three consecutive hour break (to allow for loading and unloading); PMAA and NEFI requested to allow waiting time at terminals to be counted as off-duty time. This would extend the driver on-duty period for up to 17 hours.
    • Revising the prohibition against driving after the 14th hour from the time the driver comes on-duty to prohibit driving after the 14th hour of on-duty time; this would allow drivers to count only the hours of their shift while actually on-duty towards the 14 hour daily on-duty limit. In other words, drivers could end their shift after the 14th hour if periods of off-duty time occurred within the 14 hour period.
    • Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after eight hours of continuous driving; this will benefit petroleum marketer drivers who drive beyond the 100 air-mile radius exemption from rest breaks to reach a distant terminal.
    • Eliminating the 30-minute rest break requirement for drivers; Drivers who stay within 100 air miles of their originating location are exempt from the 30-minute rest break requirement. The requirement would only apply to those drivers who drive beyond 100 miles.
    PMAA and NEFI have worked closely with FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez and his team, and we support their efforts to maintain excellence in commercial motor vehicle and driver safety while also seeking logical efficiencies and relief for small businesses. Such changes would minimize the effect of the driver shortage and safely speed fuel where it is needed following disasters.

    PMAA will submit comments to FMCSA regarding the ANPRM before the 30-day comment period (which begins when the proposal is published in the Federal Register which has not occurred yet) expires.

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