SPECIAL REPORT: Comments sought on HOS, driver training

| 2/22/2008

Friday, Feb. 22, 2008 – Truckers who want to let the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration know how they feel about the hours-of-service regs or a proposed driver training rule need to stop thinking about it and start doing it. Comment deadlines are coming soon.

The public now has until Monday, March 17, to comment on FMCSA’s interim final rule on the hours-of-service regulations.

The deadline for comments was initially Feb. 15. But, a 30-day extension was granted after the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety petitioned the agency for a longer comment period.

The agency is soliciting comments on its interim final rule that allows truckers to continue using both the 11th hour of driving and the optional 34-hour restart provision. The interim rule went into effect Dec. 27.

Comments on the interim final rule will be accepted through March 17. You will need the Docket ID, which is FMCSA-2004-19608. You must include it on any comments you submit by fax, mail or in person. To file comments electronically, click here.

FMCSA also published a “notice of proposed rulemaking” in the Federal Register Dec. 26, 2007, that proposes 44 hours of behind-the-wheel training in addition to 76 hours of classroom time before potential truckers can test for and receive their Class A CDL.

The new proposed regulation not only requires students to actually spend some time behind the wheel, but also requires them to do it at an accredited school with qualified instructors on staff.

The truck driving schools will have to be accredited by an agency recognized by the Department of Education or by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. This would also apply to schools operated by trucking companies.

The public has until March 25 to file comments on the proposed regulation. The Docket number for the proposed rule is FMCSA-2007-27748. Click here to comment online.

Of course, submitting comments electronically on either hours of service or driver training via the Internet isn’t your only option. You can still:

  • Fax comments with the Docket ID number to (202) 493-2251;
  • Mail comments with the Docket ID number to:

Docket Management Facility 
U.S. Department of Transportation 
Room W-12-140, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE 
Washington, DC 20590-0001

  • Or hand deliver comments between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except on federal holidays, to the ground floor of the U.S. Department of Transportation building, Room W-12-140, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE , Washington, DC.