Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Contact: Norita Taylor, [email protected]
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791
For Immediate Release
OOIDA’s petition spurs HOS reform
A petition by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association played a key role in the government launching an effort to revise hours-of-service regulations. OOIDA looks forward to working with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to safely and responsibly update those standards.
The Association’s petition, which was filed in February of this year, was referred to in today’s announcement by FMCSA to revise the hours-of-service regulations.
“OOIDA got this ball rolling with our petition, constant grassroots outreach from our members, and the relentless efforts of Congressman Brian Babin,” said OOIDA President Todd Spencer. “Our members have continuously told federal officials that current regulations are overly complex, provide no flexibility, and in no way reflect the physical capabilities or limitations of individual drivers.”
OOIDA 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.
OOIDA’s petition recommended that drivers be allowed to take rest breaks once per 14-hour period for up to three consecutive hours as long as the driver is off-duty. It also suggested eliminating the 30-minute break requirement.
“The hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers need to be updated to match the realities of freight movement and to truly improve highway safety,” said Spencer. “The trucking industry is in a situation where we have never had more regulations and greater enforcement and compliance. Yet, truck-related crash numbers are going in the wrong direction. It’s time for a new approach.”
OOIDA also expressed support for proposed legislation that came soon after the petition in February. The Responsible and Effective Standards for Truckers, or REST Act, H.R.5417, is similar in that it would allow drivers to take one rest break per shift, for up to three consecutive hours. This single off-duty period would not be counted toward the driver’s 14-hour, on-duty allowance. The bill would not extend the total, allowable drive time limits.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36) and would also eliminate the existing 30-minute rest break requirement.
“The agency is finally listening and now the door is open for truckers to make their voices heard and to spur real, common-sense changes to the hours-of-service regulations. This rulemaking needs robust participation from real truckers so that the next incarnation of the hours-of-service regulations is not written by corporate trucking executives and anti-trucking groups that have no understanding of the realities of over-the-road trucking,” said Spencer.