As the October 28 deadline nears for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to announce any Hours of Service rule changes for commercial truck drivers, the Teamsters Union and several public health and safety organizations have sent a letter to President Barack Obama in support of shortening the number of consecutive hours a trucker can spend on the road.
The FMCSA has previously noted that it prefers a return to the 10-hour limit. The current limit is 11 hours.
The Oct. 7 letter, signed by 10 representatives from the Teamsters and other groups, noted that criticisms from trucking interests and some Republican Congress members have ignored the benefits the proposed HOS changes will bring. The letter says the reforms will not only create 40,000 trucking-industry jobs but would also bring back many of the almost 50,000 trucking jobs that were cut when the current HOS rule took effect in 2004. Additionally, the reforms could save the American public more than $2 billion in crash, injury, and medical expenses.
The rule has yet to be sent to the Office of Management and Budget for final approval, but the FMCSA has said it is working to meet the Oct. 28 deadline.