Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, recently sent Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) a letter to discourage her from offering an amendment to prohibit the use of federal funds in FY2012 to 'implement, finalize, or enforce' the proposed Hours of Service (HOS) rule. The Secretary argued that the amendment would prevent the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) from applying up-to-date data to safety issues regarding allowable hours of service and driver fatigue. The American Trucking Association countered with a letter to Sec. Lahood stating that there is little, if any, up-to-date data or science supporting FMCSA's HOS proposal. However, when the FMCSA also weighed-in expressing their concern with the amendment, the combined message to the Hill was sufficient to discourage Sen. Ayotte from formally offering her amendment.
In another development, HOS petitioners have agreed to an extension for publishing the much awaited HOS final rule. As previously reported, FMCSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in 2010 proposing to amend the HOS requirements for commercial motor vehicle drivers pursuant to a negotiated court settlement with HOS petitioners. The settlement required FMCSA to publish a final rule by July 26, 2011. Though no subsequent date has been set, FMCSA stated they are working toward publishing a final rule as quickly as possible.
NPGA will be pursuing our request to FMCSA to exempt short haul drivers from HOS requirements currently specified in 49 CFR Part 395 , which NPGA contends are otherwise unduly burdensome. NPGA also continues to participate in an industry coalition opposing any proposed changes to the current HOS requirements. For more information contact Bob Elliott.
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