New HOS rule issued
Aug 19, 2005 3:00 PM
A new hours-of-service (HOS) rule that spells out the length of time commercial drivers can operate trucks before they are required to take a break was issued August 19 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The new rule replaces a 2003 regulation that was successfully challenged in federal court. The court sent FMCSA back to the drawing board to design a new rule.
One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Public Citizen, has already criticized the latest FMCSA offering, saying "it is virtually unchanged" from the 2003 rules that the court struck down.
The group also is calling for FMCSA to "reconsider this issue and redraft the rule."
FMCSA said parts of the latest rule, including the maximum driving time and minimum rest limits remain the same. However, the new rule includes changes affecting short-haul operators and longer distance drivers who use in-cab sleeper-berths for their rest, according to the FMCSA information.
As in the 2003 regulations, the new rule prohibits truckers from driving more than eleven hours in a row, working longer than 14 hours in a shift, and driving more than 60 hours over a seven-day period or 70 hours over an eight-day period
In addition, the new rule requires truckers to rest for at least 10 hours between shifts and provides a 34-hour period to recover from cumulative fatigue.
Another change contained in the new rule requires truckers who use sleeper-berths to rest for eight hours in a row, and take another two consecutive hours off duty before resetting their daily driving schedule.
The new rule will go into effect October 1, 2005.
To see the rule in its entirety, click here for the FMCSA Web site.
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