Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Contact: Norita Taylor, [email protected]
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791
For Immediate Release
OOIDA requests safer, more flexible HOS for truck drivers
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the nation’s only organization representing professional and small-business truckers, has petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to amend the existing federal hours-of-service regulations.
“We think it’s time to seriously address the issue of lack of options available for truck drivers whose schedules are at the mercy of shippers, receivers, weather, congestion, and other obstacles, to operate safely,” said Todd Spencer, acting president and CEO of OOIDA.
“We are in a situation where we have never had more regulations and greater enforcement and compliance with those regulations. Yet, crash numbers are going in the wrong direction, it’s time for a new approach,” added Spencer.
OOIDA has sent a petition to FMCSA requesting changes to HOS regulations stating the following: That truck drivers subject to HOS regulations be allowed a rest break once per 14-hour duty period for up to 3 consecutive hours as long as the driver is off-duty. This rest break would effectively stop the 14-hour clock. However, drivers would still need to log ten consecutive hours off duty before the start of their next work shift. The Association also recommends eliminating the existing 30-minute rest break requirement.
“There are many operational situations where the 30-minute rest break requires drivers to stop when they simply do not need to,” said Spencer. “It’s either impractical or unsafe.”
The Association points out that current regulations are overly complex, provide no flexibility, and in no way reflect the physical capabilities or limitations of individual drivers.
“They force drivers to be on the road when they are tired or fatigued, during busy travel times and adverse weather and road conditions, or when they simply aren’t feeling well,” said Spencer. In short, OOIDA and its members view current HOS regulations as forcing truckers to comply with a regulatory framework that jeopardizes their safety and the safety of the traveling public.
“If DOT truly wants to improve highway safety, it should consider amending the existing HOS regulations to foster safe habits rather than prevent them,” said Spencer. “No one on the road today cares more about highway safety than career professional truck drivers.”