Overdrive Magazine

September 2019

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4 | Overdrive | September 2019 V O I C E S U.S. Department of Transportation leaders from Federal Motor Carri- er Safety Administration chief Ray Martinez on up to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao appear to have taken to heart owner-operators' calls for hours of service exibility. (See page 20 for details on the FMCSA proposal.) CueTodd Campbell, commenting under the poll at OverdriveOnline. com: "Flexibility like we had before the 14-hour rule. No 30-minute break — we take breaks daily." OrTravis Copeland, who favored a small-carrier ELD mandate exemp- tion much like that under consid- eration in Congress with House Bill 1697 (just 12 cosponsors as of press time). Copeland pro ered a tiered hours system with the current rules in place for beginners and levels of exibility o ered with tenure. Copeland would start that at the 10-year mark with more available "hours to drive, no 14-hour-rule, and exible split-sleeper" up through the 15th year. At that point, veteran haulers might enjoy "full exibility — no HOS. Your safe driving record speaks for itself. Allow veteran drivers the ability to operate as needed. Of course, all safety and CSA scores [would be] applicable, and your HOS status can be dropped as needed." FMCSA isn't looking to shake things up that much, judging by its relatively modest proposal to increase exibility in the split-sleeper regula- tions and allow for a daily 14-hour- clock pause. But Copeland wasn't the only commenter urging a major relaxation of the rules for proven safe drivers in a round of commentary just prior to the proposal's release. is idea has been around for some time. For example, then-own- er-operator Je Clark's "Gold Card Drivers" proposal got some attention during the hours change debate un- der then-Administrator Anne Ferro in 2010. For the many who favored more than just the 7/3-hour o -duty split option (with neither period contrib- uting to the rolling 14-hour day), FMCSA enforcement chief Joe DeLo- renzo suggested the agency was open to data that might bolster the safety case for further liberalization of the split-sleeper rules. Regarding the split-sleeper changes proposed, "We moved forward with a proposal based on the data and infor- mation we have available," DeLorenzo said. He also noted that the o cial request for comment asks "a series of questions … about the possibility of more data being available" to address other split scenarios or options. With more options to pause the 14-hour duty day without penalty, "drivers will be able to nap if they get fatigued," Samuel O ett wrote at Overdrive's Facebook page. " is was a major problem for the safety of the driver and the general public." "Would x the issues in my opin- ion," said Robert Peterson. "It's a great idea, and would allow guys to nap if they want to in the middle of the day." Dutch, at OverdriveOnline.com: " e 14-hour rule has caused more accidents as a result of racing through construction sites and elsewhere to beat the clock. Extending the hours is V O I C E S V O I C E S Max Heine Almost six out of 10 Overdrive readers, just prior to the proposal's release, named some form of added flexibility as their top priority for a rewrite. Most truckers welcome hours plan's flexibility What do you want most out of an hours of service revision? OverdriveOnline.com poll More flexibility, generally 30% More flexible split-sleeper hours 9% Return to pre-14-hour-rule regs 20% More on-duty or driving hours 10% Removal of 30-minute break 21% Other/not sure 5% Leave the regs alone 3.5% Less flexibility or fewer on-duty or driving hours 1.5%

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