White House clears hours-of-service rules

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration could publish the latest version of the hours-of-service rules in a matter of days. On Thursday, Nov. 13, the White House Office of Management and Budget completed its review of the regulations, which represent FMCSA’s third attempt at a rewrite of the regime that had stood for more than 60 years beginning in the late 1930s.

Details on the final hours rules, which respond to a July 2007 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, won’t be available until FMCSA publishes them in the Federal Register. In late December 2007, FMCSA issued an interim final rule holding the most recent regulations – including the challenged 11 hours of daily driving and 34-hour restart of cumulative work limits – in place pending another round of comments.

The hours regulations are among dozens of rules the Bush administration is pushing to finalize in the wake of Barack Obama’s election on Nov. 4. Other FMCSA documents pending at OMB are final rules regarding intermodal equipment, new entrant fitness and medical certification; and a proposed rule to establish a National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

Other rules are expected before the end of the Bush Administration, including final rules on electronic onboard recorders and on reduced stopping distance for truck tractors equipped with air brake systems.

For more information on the hours rules, click here.