Department of Transportation (DOT) to Rewrite Hours of Service Rules

Due to unrelenting pressure from Trucking Organizations and Safety Advocates, the DOT has agreed to rewrite the Hours of Service Rules for truck drivers. The FMCSA, the agency within the DOT responsible for writing and enforcing the HOS, is expected to complete the new HOS in 2010.

Four groups recently filed a lawsuit in federal court asking that the hours-of-service rules for commercial motor vehicle drivers be thrown out.

The groups, Public Citizen, Truck Safety Coalition, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, oppose two aspects of the current HOS rules:

  1. the increase from 10 to 11 hours of consecutive driving, and
  2. the ability of drivers to restart their weekly on-duty limits after taking 34 consecutive hours off.

More stringent Hours of Service rules could result in the need for more drivers to move the same amount of freight. The end result would mean more trucks on the nations highways, requiring more maintenance of existing infrastructure and new infrastructure projects.