The ATA has requested the federal regulators to add more flexibility to the truckers' hours of service rules, but not to cut the daily driving limit of 11 hours
A senior ATA official said that the current rules are working successfully at the first of four Federal Motor Carrier Administration "listening sessions" on trucking hours of service.
"Retain them, but add flexibility to the sleeper berth provision," this was said by Dave Osiecki, senior vice president. He also said that for the last six years the highway safety has enhanced under these rules. The rules were introduced in 2003.
The sleeper berth availability helps the trucker to take an eight-hour break in the truck cab as part of 10-hour rest period which is very much required, while stopping the 14-hour on-duty clock. When a driver starts the trip at 6 a.m., stop at 12 p.m, and take eight hours break, will still have six hours of driving time left, through 2 a.m. the next morning.
The previous Hours of Service (HOS) rules, which dated back to the 1930s, permitted the truck drivers to take break any time. Those rules forced a 10-hour driving limit.
Osiecki has requested FMCSA to give a serious consideration for encouraging circadian friendly sleep and naps by providing flexibility in the sleeper berth provision.
This not only helps the truck drivers to relax themselves but also save the lives of many. So let's hope for a positive reply from FMCSA.