Stakeholders Hoping For Larger Turnout at Second HOS Listening Session Set for 9/17
Washington D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on Friday it would be holding the second of its two public listening sessions on the Agency’s new proposed changes to Hours of Service (HOS) on September 17.
The listening session will be held at the U.S. Department of Transportation, located at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, in Washington, DC.
It will begin at 1:00 p.m. local time and end at 3 p.m.
On August 22, 2019, FMCSA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comment on proposed changes to HOS requirements.
The Agency held the first public listening session on Friday, August 23 at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, TX.
FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez, along with his top deputies on policy and safety, heard approximately 2 hours of comments from concerned stakeholders about the new proposal.
Martinez said the comment portion of the current NPRM on HOS is at an “important stage.”
“We understand the impact that this has,” he said. “We are taking it seriously.”
A number of top trucking groups were represented in the session including the Owner Operator Independent Driver’s Association, the American Trucking Associations, TruckerNation and the United States Transportation Alliance.
Common themes included comments and questions about possibly splitting the 30-minute break into multiple shorter increments totaling 30 minutes, returning to a 5/5 split sleeper provision, clarification on the proposed adverse driving provision, and what the Agency is prepared to do to take action against driver coercion.
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However, the most talked about portion of the proceedings came when 47-year-old owner operator Joshua Williams, of Memphis, TN confronted the FMCSA officials over giving commercial driver’s licenses to people who do not understand English.
The mood of the room grew palpably tense as Williams sounded off about how he believes immigrants are “taking advantage of our laws.”
“You don’t have to speak English or understand English to get a commercial driver’s license anymore,” Williams asserted. “That’s something that needs to change. It hurts us.”
Read the full report on Williams’ comments and how the FMCSA officials responded to him HERE.
A significant number of industry stakeholders Transportation Nation Network (TNN) has spoken with since the first listening session have indicated they are hoping for a better showing at the second listening session.
The turnout for the first listening session was “disappointing” one FMCSA source told TNN.
Some are blaming the underwhelming attendance on the fact that the FMCSA only announced the first listening session a few days prior, giving people less than a week’s notice.
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