Thousands of truckers call FMCSA's HOS hotline

| Monday, February 02, 2004

An initial review released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration revealed that truckers still have questions about changes made to the 60-year-old hours-of-service regulations.

The review was based on thousands of calls from commercial drivers made to the FMCSA's 24-hour, toll-free help line.

Help line personnel have answered almost 5,500 calls from truckers wanting to understand the new rule. Initial call tracking reports indicate most questions concern the sleeper-berth exemption, the 34-hour restart provision, the definition of a 14-hour workday and procedures for recording hours in driver logbooks.

FMCSA Administrator Annette M. Sandberg: "We're hearing thoughtful questions and witnessing a sincere desire to follow the new regulations."

Most calls, 18 percent, concern the 34-hour restart period. Another 16 percent of callers want to know more about the sleeper berth provision. Nine percent have asked about the 60/70-hour workweek change. Likewise, 5 percent called about record keeping.

The remaining calls vary widely, including questions specific to unique driving scenarios, questions on the difference between drive time and duty time, and inquiries into the use of electronic on-board recorders.

FMCSA personnel answering the phones say that most calls are drivers trying to comply with the new rule. The toll-free telephone line, 1-800-598-5664, is staffed around the clock to answer drivers' questions. The line became active Dec. 29, 2003.

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