The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended the comment period on potential changes it is considering to the Hours of Service (HOS) rules.
The deadline for comments was September 24, but FMCSA pushed that back to October 10. An announcement to extend has been imminent given the agency scheduled listening sessions on the matter for September 22 in Reno, Nev.; September 28 in Joplin, Mo.; and October 2 in Orlando, Fla.
"FMCSA received requests for an extension to the comment period from a number of organizations, including the American Trucking Assns., the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the National Pork Producers Council and the National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc.," the agency said in a statement.
"The agency believes it is appropriate to extend the comment period to provide interested parties additional time to submit their responses."
Even before scheduling listening sessions past the original comment deadline, an extension to the comment period—initially set at a short 30 days—was always likely given the complexity of the matter and its ability to spark a bonfire of discussion. More than 2,100 comments have been submitted so far.
As noted in an advance notice of public rulemaking published August 23, FMCSA is seeking public comments on four specific aspects of the HOS rules where it is considering changes, including:
- The 100 air-mile, short-haul HOS limit.
- The HOS exception for adverse driving conditions.
- The 30-minute rest break provision.
- A rule that would allow drivers to split their required time in the sleeper berth.