Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Contact: Norita Taylor, [email protected]
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791
For Immediate Release
OOIDA calls for HOS reform with flexibility, safety as top priorities
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed comments to an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Hours-of-Service regulations.
An ANPRM published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration asked for input from the trucking community about updating regulations to alleviate unnecessary burdens and improve safety.
“We’d like to thank the agency for its commitment to expediency and we will continue to work with them in any way we can to support their efforts and help make the process move forward,” said OOIDA President Todd Spencer. “However, we also want to make sure the agency understands that it has to actually enact meaningful reforms that increase flexibility and improve highway safety for this effort to be successful.”
OOIDA’s comments call for the elimination of the arbitrary 30-minute rest break and allowing drivers to take rest breaks once per 14-hour duty period for up to three consecutive hours as long as the driver is off-duty. The Association also recommended expanding split-sleeper berth flexibility and updating the definition of the “Adverse Conditions” exception and applying it to the 14-hour clock among other HOS changes that would benefit highway safety.
OOIDA based its comments on feedback from its members, who are predominantly small-business truckers. Most of the trucking industry is made up of small businesses.
The Association says its members have expressed their concerns about regulations that force them to be on the road when they are tired, during busy travel times and in adverse weather or road conditions. Their schedules are also at the mercy of shippers and receivers, and other obstacles that create a conflict between operating both safely and in compliance with federal regulations.
“Small-business truckers are the safest and most diverse operators on the road,” said Spencer. “Yet, for far too long, the federal government has failed to grasp the importance of this diversity, and continues to burden the trucking industry with a “one-size-fits-all” approach that punishes small businesses, stifles competition, and overregulates an industry deregulated by design.”
OOIDA’s comments stated that considering that crash rates have steadily increased since some current HOS regulations have been in place, the need to give drivers more control over their schedules is clearer than ever.
“We believe that these changes, if implemented, will not only help the trucking industry and improve highway safety, but can drive economic growth across the country, creating new opportunities and greater job satisfaction for millions of hard-working Americans,” said Spencer.