NPGA Bobtail

NPGA Comments on FMCSA Proposed Rulemaking on Hours of Service

NPGA stresses need for regional hours of service waivers lasting longer than 5 days, lack of basis for the rule, and potential problems with the proposed rule in its comments.  On February 6th, 2023, the comment period closed for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed rule clarifying hours of service. NPGA commented on the rule in order to preserve and protect the interests of our members. Our issues of concern were:

  • FMCSA did not provide examples of storms lasting only 5 days, while NPGA provided evidence of direct and indirect effects lasting significantly longer.
  • The proposed rule would create inconsistency between Federal and State waivers.
  • The proposed rule shows the lack of clarity in enforcement between Federal and State governments on waivers.
  • Logistics issues arise when Federal waivers expire or are not issued, transforming emergencies into catastrophes.
  • FMCSA capacity to respond to email requests for extensions will stress the system.
  • FMCSA is not clear on what defines an emergency.
  • FMCSA needs greater authority when Governors fail to act.
  • Enhanced protection for agricultural and industrial uses should be incorporated.
  • Given FMCSA’s acknowledgement that it is unclear on the effect of this change, the rule should be pulled back and replaced with a Request for Information or an Information Collection Review.

NPGA continues to press FMCSA on its application for a 5-year special exemption, and will continue to engage with FMCSA on the Hours of Service Rulemaking.

For more information please contact Benjamin Nussdorf, Vice President, Industry & Regulatory Affairs.