HOS final rule nearing completion

By Jami Jones, senior editor | 11/3/2011

The hours-of-service final rule has rounded the corner and is heading into the final stretch – for now anyway.

Yesterday, Nov. 1, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration submitted the final hours-of-service regulation to the Office of Management and Budget. Generally these reviews can take between 30 and 90 days, but there is no set deadline. Initially, FMCSA anticipated the rule being at OMB for approximately two months. However, the agency has not updated its report on pending rulemakings with the altered schedule.

There is no guarantee that OMB will simply sign off on the final rule as submitted by the agency. OMB can – and has – returned rules to various agencies for modification, adding more time to the process.

While the rule is at OMB, it is not available to public view or inspection. The only information provided to the public is:

“This rulemaking would propose changes to the hours of service requirements for drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle transporting property. The requirement for this rulemaking was established on Oct. 26, 2009, when Public Citizen et al. (petitioners) and FMCSA entered into a settlement agreement under which petitioners´ petition for judicial review of the Nov. 19, 2008, final rule on drivers´ hours of service will be held in abeyance pending the publication of an NPRM reevaluating the hours of service rule.” 

The groups involved in the lawsuit – Public Citizen, Teamsters, Advocates for Highway Safety and Truck Safety Coalition – and the FMCSA have until Nov. 28 to file motions to govern further proceedings.

This isn’t the first time hours of service has been involved in litigation forcing a redraft. Click here to see a timeline that led up to the most recent lawsuit.

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