The American Trucking Associations wants federal regulators to add more flexibility to truck driver hours of service rules, but not to cut the daily driving limit of 11 hours (see also).
At the first of four Federal Motor Carrier Administration "listening sessions" on trucking hours of service Tuesday, a senior ATA official said the current rules "are working."
"Retain them, but add flexibility to the sleeper berth provision," said Dave Osiecki, senior vice president. "In the very real world of trucking, highway safety has improved in the past six years under these rules," he said. The rules were introduced in 2003.
The sleeper berth provision lets a driver take an eight-hour break in the truck cab as part of the mandatory 10-hour rest period, while stopping the 14-hour on-duty clock. That means a driver could begin a trip at 6 a.m., stop at 12 p.m. and break for eight hours, and still have six hours of driving time left, through 2 a.m. the next morning.
Under the previous HOS rules, which dated back to the 1930s, truckers could stop the clock at any time for breaks. Those rules imposed a 10-hour driving limit.
"FMCSA should give serious consideration to encouraging circadian friendly sleep and naps by providing flexibility in the sleeper berth provision," Osiecki said.
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