The deadline for FMCSA to publish its Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) regarding changes to the Hours of Service regulations for truck drivers has once again come and gone with no publication. The projected publication date listed by the Department of Transportation was July 31, 2019 and before that it was June 7, 2019.
The repeated delays have been caused by the massive amount of comments the agency received to its Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that was published in August 2018. FMCSA received over 5,200 comments, primarily from trucker drivers seeking relief from the strict regulations that they claim could end up forcing them to drive fatigued.
FMCSA has stated that they are close to publishing the NPRM and promised the new rules will provide drivers with more flexibility. This has caused some in the industry to speculate that the new rules could include removing the mandatory 30-minute rest break or the 14-hour rule may revert to a previous version that gave drivers the ability to “stop the on duty clock”.
There has been no new date set for the publication of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making at this time. FMCSA will be accepting public comments on the NPRM once it is finally published before proceeding to the Final Rule.
FMCSA misses projected publication date for new ‘flexible’ HOS rules — again