Deadline day for HOS comments; retailers object too

WASHINGTON – Tonight at midnight is the deadline for public comments for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposed hours-of-service rule.

The American Trucking Associations and others have been urging carriers and drivers to make their objects known about the proposed changes.

Many who spoke at the FMCSA’s recent listening sessions opposed the new HOS blueprint.

The agency pushed it back the deadline for comments from Feb. 28 until March 4.

Meanwhile, the National Retail Federation is the latest business group to urge the FMCSA to keep the current rules intact.
The group said plans to limit the number of hours truck drivers spend behind the wheel as well as shorten the non-driving workday would increase costs for businesses and consumers while undermining intended safety benefits by putting more trucks on the road during the most-congested hours.

"As a result of the current 11-hour daily driving limit, U.S. retailers have been able to achieve significant efficiencies within their supply chains and distribution networks," NRF Senior VP for Government Relations, David French said in comments to the agency. "Any change to this daily driving limit will upset the careful balance and efficiencies that have been achieved and require changes to those new systems and processes.

"In addition, such changes could result in significantly higher transportation costs and could lead to less safety as additional drivers and trucks will be required to make up for the shortfall."

The proposed change reduces the ability to schedule deliveries at night, placing more trucks on the road during normal commuting hours, adds French. "This adversely affects a retailer’s supply chain performance, potentially increasing congestion-related delays and increasing the likelihood of accidents and a result of greater truck and automobile interactions."  

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