New round of HOS enforcement begins

WASHINGTON, (March 5, 2004) — American enforcement officials have begun issuing ticket and fines, rather than compliance warnings, for violations of the hours of service rules. The new enforcement phase began yesterday.

Since Jan. 4, 2004, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and state officials have led an aggressive educational enforcement program designed to teach drivers about the new rules, while ensuring flagrant violations were rigorously enforced. The effort included the distribution of more than a million pieces of literature, countless seminars with the trucking community, and thousands of phone call responses to drivers’ questions.

While initial feedback has been focused on compliance, anecdotal reports show the new hours-of-service rules are contributing to added efficiency within the supply chain by encouraging shippers to load cargo more quickly, said FMCSA Administrator Annette M. Sandberg.

“We finally close the book on World War II-era rules that were too restrictive of drive times and too tolerant of dangerously long workdays,� said Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta. “The new rules will help drivers earn a good living without having to put their lives on the line.�

States are expected to begin enforcement as soon as their inspectors are fully prepared, just as they would with other road safety rules.

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