August 19 is the day truckers have been waiting for. FMCSA Administrator Annette Sandberg will unveil the new hours-of-service regulations.
The unveiling will start the process of answering a lot of questions that have been on the minds of truckers since the regs were kicked out by a U.S. Court of Appeals in July 2004.
It all goes back to April 2003 when the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration dealt truckers a whole new set of rules to work under. And just about the time everything was sailing along pretty smoothly, lawsuits were filed.
In response to those lawsuits, a U.S. Court of Appeals kicked the hours-of-service rules back to the federal agency. The court called the rules "arbitrary and capricious" and said that they failed to take drivers' health into consideration.
The court ordered that the existing regs would be left in place until the end of September this year.
That left FMCSA with a compressed schedule to address the court's concerns.
FMCSA got the process of addressing the courts concerns and clearing up the questions raised by the court's ruling going again when it opened a 45-day comment period in January.
Since that comment period closed, there hasn't been much said by FMCSA officials about hours of service.
Thursday, Aug. 18, FMCSA sent out a media advisory announcing that the hours-of-service regs would be unveiled on Friday.
"Land Line Now" and Land Line Magazine will be covering the press conference and will get you up to speed on what, if any changes are included in the new hours of service.
- By Jami Jones, staff editor