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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issues final rule on truck drivers' hours of service (11/25)

November 25, 2008
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According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Transportation, a new rule issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will limit the nation’s 3.5 million truck drivers to driving for only 11 hours and working for no more than 14 hours each day. Agency Administrator John Hill said that the final rule is based on an exhaustive scientific review and designed to ensure truck drivers get the necessary rest to perform safe operations and the quality of life they deserve.

“This rule was designed to continue the downward trend in truck fatalities and maintain motor carrier operational efficiencies,” said Hill. “Our science is meticulous and our analysis exhaustive so that we can deliver definitive results: more alert and efficient drivers, safer roads, and even fewer fatalities.”

According to Hill, the agency consulted with scientific and medial researchers, reviewed existing fatigue research and worked with organizations like the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies and the National Institute for Occupational Safety in setting the final “Hours of Service” rules.

The new federal rule requires all truck drivers to spend at least 10 hours resting between shifts before being allowed back on the road, Hill noted. Drivers cannot operate a truck if they have worked more than 60 hours in a given week, but drivers that rest for at least 34 hours can reset their weekly work schedule.

The Final Rule is available at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/rulemakings/final/E8-27437-HOS-Final-Rule-11-19-08.pdf

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