FMCSA calls on stakeholders to get involved on HOS proposal

By Jami Jones, Land Line managing editor | 8/23/2018

The 30-day clock is officially ticking to submit comments on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s hours of service advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

The agency announced it would be opening up a rulemaking to consider changes to the hours-of-service regulations on Tuesday, Aug. 21. The notice officially published on the Federal Register on Thursday, Aug. 23.

Courtesy U.S. DOT

Joe DeLorenzo

Following the Tuesday announcement, Ray Martinez, administrator of FMCSA, and Joe DeLorenzo, FMCSA director of enforcement and compliance, sat down with Land Line Now Host Mark Reddig to talk about the advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

“So I got to tell you we wouldn’t even be here having this conversation were it not for the petitions that were received especially from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association,” Martinez told Reddig.

“As you know we’ve been on an aggressive listening tour over the last four months trying to get feedback that we could put on paper for an advance notice of proposed rulemaking and that’s what led us to where we are today.”

Listen to the full segment here:

An advance notice of proposed rulemaking is an information-gathering phase of the rulemaking process, to put it simply. And that message was driven home during the interview with Reddig.

“We’re interested in, you know, what the industry can provide in terms of the reality of how their hours are really working in these particular areas,” DeLorenzo told Reddig.

“Any kind of actual information to kind of get away a little bit from all of the anecdotal conversations that we’ve had over the last six months to a year to what can we really use now to make a decision about how to go forward with these rules.”

While there have been tweaks and changes to the HOS regs, the only major revision of the regulations happened more than a decade ago. That is one of the reasons why Martinez feels it is important to revisit the rule.

“It’s been 15 years since hours of service have been seriously addressed in that time. Obviously there’s been the introduction of these. But the market has also changed somewhat. We know that things are different … on the roadways now, certainly more crowded than they were 15 years ago. That allows us to step back and say this is a good time to take a serious look at the hours of service,” Martinez told Reddig.

An advance notice of proposed rulemaking is no guarantee that the agency will proceed to the next phase of the rulemaking process and actually propose changes to the rule.

“I would encourage your listeners, though, don’t just assume that this is going to happen. This is what is being put forward as we’ve heard over the last four or five months and even before that. … This is the time in the legal process for the affected stakeholders to come forward give us the data that we can then figure out what’s the next step in moving forward to a proposed rulemaking.”

To comment on the advance notice of proposed rulemaking, click here. If you choose an alternate delivery method for your comments, include the Docket ID FMCSA-2018-0248 on your comments. In addition to online, you can submit comments:

  • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
  • Fax: 202-493-2251.
  • Submissions Containing Confidential Business Information (CBI): Mr. Brian Dahlin, Chief, Regulatory Evaluation Division, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

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