New HOS rule postponed until Oct

WASHINGTON — U.S. regulators now say their new final hours-of-service proposal won’t be completed at least until late October.

After hinting earlier this month that it could miss the court-imposed deadline of July 26, 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) confirmed in a court filing that it is behind schedule by several months.

The rule is now set for "on or before Oct. 28, 2011."

In a surprising move last month, FMCSA reopened the HOS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to allow for further review of the new research. The timing of the new studies caused suspicion throughout the trucking industry

The agency added two new studies it commissioned "that may be relevant” to the rulemaking and the agency says it needs to allow more time for comments.

Not surprisingly, the two studies are believed to reinforce FMCSA’s plans to cut driving time behind the wheel, increase mandatory rest time, re-write the reset provision, or a combination thereof.

Meanwhile, the agency issued a new schedule for a handful of other trucking-related rules, some of which have been delayed for "further analysis" or "more pressing priorities."

Dec. 9 will be the deadline for establishing a national medical examiner registry.

Aug. 3: A proposal for the United Registration System, which would replace the DOT number identification, commercial registration and financial responsibility systems with an online unified registration system.

The Carrier Safety Fitness Determination rule notice will be on Nov. 2

Dec. 1 for a commercial driver Drug and Alcohol Database rule notice.

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