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No changes to HOS: 11th hour and 34-hour restart rule remain in effect

By Jami Jones
senior editor


Truckers won’t be learning yet another set of hours-of-service regulations because there aren’t going to be any changes to the regs when the “new” final rule goes into effect in January 2009.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration unveiled the latest in a long line of final rules outlining the hours-of-service regs governing the trucking industry in mid-November 2008.

The new final rule adopts the interim rule that the truckers are running under right now, according to a copy of the final rule obtained by Land Line Magazine. The final rule will officially go into effect on Jan. 19, 2009.

This marks yet another attempt by the agency to put the HOS debate to bed. The embattled regulation has been contested in court numerous times where it was tossed out entirely in 2004 and had two key provisions eliminated in 2007.

In July 2007, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit tossed the provision that increased driving time to 11 hours from 10 hours and the 34-hour restart provision.

The two provisions were tossed by the court based on procedural grounds – not on safety concerns.

The final rule submitted to the Federal Register in November 2008 reflects FMCSA’s attempt to rectify the procedural issues it encountered when it added the 11th hour of driving and the optional 34-hour restart provision. LL