The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended the public comment period on its interim hours-of-service rule by 30 days.
The Feb. 15 original deadline for the submission of public comments has been changed to March 17, and a notice of the change will be published in the Federal Register, FMCSA Administrator John Hill said in a letter to Jacqueline Gillan, vice president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.
According to Hill’s Feb. 13 letter, Gillan requested the extension in a Feb. 7 letter.
Under the interim final rule announced Dec. 11, truck drivers will continue to be limited to driving only 11 hours within a 14-hour duty period, after which they must go off duty for at least 10 hours. The rule also retains the provision that allows drivers to restart their cumulative on-duty limits by taking 34 consecutive hours off duty. FMCSA is seeking comment on its methodology and on safety data that was not available when the agency issued its most recent version of the rule in 2005.
The agency issued the interim hours-of-service rule in response to the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacating those two key provisions of the existing rules.
To comment, view comments or download supporting documents for the interim rule, visit www.regulations.gov and search FMCSA-2004-19608.
Further analysis after the comment period ends could take “a few weeks or even a few months,” Hill said.
Once a final rule has been established, FMCSA will review longstanding concerns from drivers and carriers over the provision that restricts the sleeper berth split to eight-hour and two-hour periods, Hill said.