By: The Working Forest Staff
ARLINGTON, VA — The American Trucking Associations thanked the Trump Administration for issuing a newly updated hours-of-service rule aimed at providing professional drivers more flexibility, without sacrificing safety.
“Today’s rule is the result of a two-year, data-driven process and it will result in needed flexibility for America’s professional truck drivers while maintaining the safety of our roads,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “We appreciate the time and attention President Trump, Secretary Chao and Administrator Mullen have paid to our industry and to this regulation, which, while maintaining the core limitations on drivers’ work and rest cycles, makes smart changes to portions of the rules.”
The new final rule makes the following changes to the hours-of-service regulations:
Brings the short-haul on-duty period in line with the rest of the industry, while increasing the air-mile radius of short-haul trucking to 150 air miles:
- Allows drivers, under certain adverse driving conditions, to extend their driving window by up to two hours.
- Changes the requirement drivers take a 30-minute rest period within the first eight hours of coming on duty, to after 8 consecutive hours of driving time have elapsed and allows the break to be taken as on-duty, not driving.
- Makes modifications to the split sleeper berth provisions of the rule allowing greater flexibility for how a driver splits their sleeper berth time.
“No rule will satisfy everyone, even within our industry, but this one – crafted with a tremendous amount of input and data – is a good example of how by working with stakeholders on all sides, government can craft a rule that simultaneously benefits the industry, specifically drivers, and maintains highway safety,” said ATA Chairman Randy Guillot, president of Triple G Express Inc., New Orleans. “The agency should be commended for their efforts and we appreciate their willingness to listen throughout this process.”
“ATA has been engaged in this rulemaking process from the beginning and we are thrilled to see a final rule come to fruition,” said Dan Horvath, ATA vice president of safety policy. “Through numerous Agency meetings and discussions with ATA’s Safety Policy Committee, we have been engaged with FMCSA since this proposal was first introduced. While the final rule does not include all of our comments, we will continue to work with Agency to ensure that HOS regulations are consistent with ATA’s commitment to safety.”