By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory and legal issues, ARTBA
ARTBA filed Oct. 21 comments about the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) proposed changes to the federal Hours of Service (HOS) rules, which govern how much time truck drivers and heavy construction equipment operators can spend on the road. Changes in the proposal that are especially relevant to ARTBA members include:
- Increasing the current “short-haul” exemption from 12 to 14 hours and 100 to 150 air miles. This increases the applicability of the exemption which applies to many transportation construction drivers who are “short haul” drivers, meaning they do not drive long distances from their job site.
- Allowing on-duty, non-driving activity to qualify for the 30-minute rest break.
- Adjusting portions of the HOS rules dealing with adverse weather conditions and the use of sleeper berths.
ARTBA’s comments to FMCSA support a wholesale exemption for transportation construction drivers from the rule: “Treating short-haul transportation construction industry drivers the same as long-haul commercial truckers defies common sense. Correcting this misapplication of federal requirements is the type of regulatory reform that all sides claim to support.”
Nevertheless, ARTBA believes the FMCSA proposal is a positive step towards increased flexibility while maintaining necessary safety standards.