Hours-of-Service — Enforcement and Productivity Impacts
Began July 1, 2013
Posted 07/18/2013

FMCSA says only the most extreme schedules will be affected, i.e. "more than 85% of the truck driving workforce will see no changes." FMCSA estimated that the new rules will save 19 lives and prevent about 1,400 crashes and 560 injuries each year. FMCSA claims: "These fatigue-fighting rules for truck drivers were carefully crafted based on years of scientific research and unprecedented stakeholder outreach." "The result is a fair and balanced approach that will result in an estimated $280 milliion in savings from fewer large truck crashes and $470 million in savings from improved driver health. Most importantly, it wills save lives," according to FMCSA Administrator Ferro.

The American Transportation Research Institute ("ATRI") has challenged FMCSA's estimate. The Institute concluded cost to the industry from the new rules will be $189 million annually. Using logbooks from more than 40,000 drivers, ATRI found that many drivers (more than the 15% estimated by FMCSA) used the restart and use it to increase flexibility, not to squeeze in more hours. ATRI also included costs from congestion and delays because the new restart restrictions woul make nighttime driving harder. ATRI says FMCSA missed completely the costs that are going to accrue to everybody else.

A Court of Appeals decision on challenges to the new rules is not expected until later this year. The latest version of new HOS rules maintains an 11-hour daily driving limit and 70-hour per week maximum, but limits the 34-hour restart provision to once in a seven-day period and requires that time frame to include two periods between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance says officers wil lnto provide a grace period for compliance but will use enforcement to educate drivers.

© 2012 Central Corridors Freight Committee