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FMCSA Hosts Third Listening Session for Hours of Service Changes
Foley
3 mins read

OCTOBER 23, 2018 – The FMCSA held a third listening session this month to get feedback on their proposed hours of service changes. This session gave industry stakeholders, drivers and the general public the ability to voice their support (or opposition) of the proposed changes – as well as to offer their thoughts on the current state of this controversial regulation.

This was one in a series of listening sessions being held this fall by the FMCSA.

“[The hours of service] regulations haven’t had a serious review in over 15 years,” FMCSA Administrator Raymond Martinez said during the two-hour event. “It is a good time for us to take a look with input across all areas to evaluate if the rules as they exist now are as effective as they can be, or provide as much flexibility as they need to for efficient commerce.”

The listening sessions were held in response to an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) that was published in August that requested feedback in response to a few core hours of service changes:

  • Extending the short-haul driving window from 12 to 14 hours
  • Applying adverse driving conditions to the 14-hour window
  • Eliminating the 30-minute rest break
  • Alternate split-sleeper berth options

With the ELD mandate now in full effect, and 99 percent of drivers in full compliance, the FMCSA has received its fair share of complaints about the regulations, which are deemed outdated and too inflexible by many in the industry. The goal, is to modify the regulations so that drivers have the flexibility they need to do their jobs effectively – without sacrificing the safety of drivers or the general public.

Over 5,000 comments were received before commenting closed on October 10. The FMCSA will now spend time reviewing those comments before they decide what action to take next – and what regulatory changes they’ll begin working towards as a result of the feedback.

“It’s important to remember that ANPRM is not presenting definitive regulatory text,” Martinez said. “[It] represents our opportunity to collect input, research and perspectives on areas where we’re considering potential changes.”

Do you think it’s time for the hours of service regulations to be updated? What changes would you like to see? Leave your comments below!

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