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White House clears HOS rule; publication expected Thursday

A source told The Trucker again late Tuesday that the HOS rule was still scheduled to be released Thursday.

By LYNDON FINNEY
The Trucker Staff

12/21/2011

WASHINGTON — The White House has cleared the final rule on Hours of Service and sent the regulation back to the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, presumably for the scheduled release Thursday.

The rule had been listed as under review at the Office of Management and Budget on the OMB website ww.reginfo.gov as late as Tuesday afternoon, but was not listed on the site Wednesday morning.

While the rule conceivably could be released Wednesday, that is highly unlikely in light of the fact that the DOT and Federal Aviation Administration were scheduled to release new work schedule rules for airline pilots, according to an Associated Press report.

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A source told The Trucker again late Tuesday that the HOS rule was still scheduled to be released Thursday.

The new rule regulating how long truckers can be on duty each day and how long they can drive during that duty period has been hotly debated since the FMCSA released the proposed rulemaking Dec. 23, 2010, revealing an agency preference to reduce the number of daily driving hours from 11 to 10.

The proposed rule also placed new restrictions on the 34-hour restart provision and added a mandatory one-hour break during the daily on-duty period.

For the most part, truckers, motor carrier executives, trucking associations and even some Congressmen criticized the proposal and urged the FMCSA to keep the current rule in place.

Safety advocacy groups and the Teamsters lined up in support of the proposed rule.

Release of the new rule will satisfy an October 2009 court settlement between safety advocacy groups and the Teamsters that was result of a third lawsuit brought against the FMCSA since the basic tenants of the current rule were implemented in January 2004.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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