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March 01, 2002  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Hours-of-Service Rule Revisited

Federal regulators ready to renew rulemaking process


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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has restated its plan to move forward with a revision of the commercial driver’s hours-of-service rules. An earlier proposal was halted by congressional order last year, and it now appears that federal regulators at FMCSA will return to a rulemaking process once they determine their choice of rule options. A study is currently being conducted to select the best choice of rules and procedures, but it seems likely that small and mid-size carriers will not be forced to install onboard hours-of-service recording devices. In addition, the U.S. Department of Transportation study of coach driver fatigue and the passenger transportation industry’s methods of operation is continuing. The study, being conducted by Circadian Technologies, is designed to collect data so that appropriate hours-of-service rules are implemented. In general, the battle lines over the proper length of a driver’s day have been drawn, with safety advocates insisting on a 12-hour daily maximum. Source: Lancer Insurance Co. in Long Beach, N.Y. For more info, visit www.lancer-ins.com. Wake-up call Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has sponsored research on eye-scanning technology that could alert truckers who are in danger of falling asleep. Scientists at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute are using near-infrared pulses of light to measure a driver’s sleepiness. The software also measures how often a driver checks side-view mirrors.


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