Time ticks as industry waits for hours-of-service rules

| 1/15/2003

Annette Sandberg, acting administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, said the agency had no deadline to make public its plan to reform federal regulations for commercial drivers’ hours.

Pressure is mounting on the FMCSA to issue long-awaited hours-of-service rules that contain contentious issues other than hours truckers may drive without rest, such as the need for black boxes inside trucks and specifics concerning driver background checks.

However, Sandberg told transportation officials Jan. 13 at the 82nd annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board there’s no deadline, according to press reports.

She said a proposal to change the 64-year-old rules was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for its review Jan. 3. OMB’s review could take 90 days to complete and would include a cost-benefit analysis of the plan and a review of the supporting data.

Once OMB releases the regulation back to FMCSA, the agency can implement the new rules 30 days after they are published in the Federal Register.