FMCSA Knocks Down Report on Cause of HOS Delay as Speculation Grows
Updated August 14, 2019 @ 9:34 a.m.
Updated August 13, 2019 @ 6:15 p.m.
Washington D.C. – While trucking industry stakeholders anxiously await the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) unveiling of its proposal on amending the current hours of service (HOS) rule, the agency is knocking down a recent report which will likely fuel even more speculation.
The FMCSA has missed two target dates to publish its new proposal in the Federal Register (June 7 and July 31) causing speculation to grow about the cause of the delay.
A recent report published by respected trucking news outlet, The Trucker, sought to shed some light on the issue.
It quoted a “trusted source” who indicated the reason for the delay was, in part, due to the Trump Administration’s desire to make the rule more “business friendly.”
Further, the report quoted the source as saying safety advocates “are not going to be happy” with the new proposal.
In response, an FMCSA spokesperson tells Transportation Nation Network (TNN), “The report in The Trucker is factually inaccurate.”
The spokesperson declined to go into further detail about the specific inaccuracies because the current proposal is still “under review.”
However, the agency’s flat rebuttal of the report will likely leave many wondering what is going on inside the agency and what is actually in the new proposal.
The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) confirmed last week the FMCSA’s new proposal was in fact still under review.
In recent months, TNN has spoken with dozens of industry insiders about what is likely to be included in the FMCSA’s proposed rule.
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To read more of TNN’s comprehensive coverage on the topic click HERE.
However, some are beginning to voice concerns over recent pressure from mainstream media outlets warning of “relaxing” rules for truckers.
Scary headlines from national news outlets such as NPR and U.S. News and World Report read: “Trump Administration Poised To Relax Trucking Safety Rules Despite Warnings” and “Rules Limiting Truckers’ Driving Time Set to be Relaxed.”
The ominous headlines, meant to induce fear in the general motoring public, have escalated in recent months since DOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced on Friday, March 29 at the Mid-America Trucking Show, the proposed rule on HOS reform had been submitted to the OMB for review.
The recent scrutiny has caused some to wonder if the agency is considering pulling back its new proposal or softening it to make it less “controversial.”
Dave Heller is the vice president of government affairs for the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA).
He recently spoke with TNN about the situation and urged stakeholders to, for lack of a better way to put it, relax.
“Relaxing safety rules for truckers may be a way in which some people view these issues, but the reality is that the agency is in the process of making rules that are more sensible to the industry than ever before,” Heller said. “The agency is trying to make better use of the day… which does not necessarily relax the rules.”
Further, Heller said the fact the FMCSA and the OMB are taking time to review the rule could yield a better outcome for the trucking community.
“Nobody will ever confuse a government agency for moving at light speed, which quite frankly, with a rule of this magnitude, it is best that time be spent making sure everything is correct,” he commented.
Heller is confident the agency will move forward sooner rather than later though.
Asked if he believes we will see the proposed rule before September, he said, “If we were placing Vegas odds on this rule, I would take the under, meaning it is very likely we see this rule sooner rather than September or beyond.”
There is no known timetable for the unveiling of the proposed rule, but the FMCSA spokesperson reiterated to TNN last week that the agency “hopes to publish it soon.”
Stay with TransportationNation.com for the latest on this and much more trucking industry news.
(Photo courtesy of FMCSA/Facebook)
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