The Trucker: Latest on the New Hours of Service Rules

December 21, 2010: Industry speculation suggests the new Hours of Service proposal will cut back driving time from 11 hours a day to 10 hours. A change in the 34-hour restart rule is also anticipated.

The latest try at an Hours of Service rule has cleared a White House review, meaning details of a new proposal could be announced as early as the this week.

The Office of Management and Budget gave the HOS rule back to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Friday.

The agency has said it would present the new regs for public comment by the end of the year, and turnaround time for publication in the Federal Register is usually about a week once a proposed rule has been returned from OMB.

Industry speculation suggests the proposal will cut back driving time from 11 hours a day to 10 hours. A change in the 34-hour restart rule is also anticipated.

Another look at HOS was driven by labor and highway safety groups who have fought the rule since the 11th hour was added in 2003. In an October 2009 court settlement, FMCSA — which had defended the current rule twice — agreed to publish a new final rule by July 2011.

The agency also has committed to the publication by year’s end of rules regarding on-board data recorders and cell phone use. The latter came out last Friday.

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