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DOT/FHWA RIN: 2125-AD93 Publication ID: Fall 1998 
Title: +Hours of Service of Drivers(Section 610 Review) 
Abstract: This action would propose revision of the FHWA's hours of service regulations. This action is mandated by the ICC Termination Act of 1995. The rulemaking also will address NTSB Safety Recommendations, petitions for rulemaking, and scientific data. The rulemaking has a great deal of public and congressional interest in regulating medium- and heavy-duty truck and bus drivers' sleep, off-duty, and working periods of time. The FHWA will propose new rules based upon comments and scientific data submitted to the advance notice of proposed rulemaking docket, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis, a cost-benefit analysis, an unfunded mandates analysis, and a paperwork reduction analysis. This action is considered significant because of substantial public and congressional interest. 
Agency: Department of Transportation(DOT)  Priority: Economically Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: Undetermined 
RFA Section 610 Review: Section 610 Review 
CFR Citation: 49 CFR 395   
Legal Authority: PL 104-88   
Legal Deadline:
Action Source Description Date
Other  Statutory  See 49 U.S.C. 13908 for more detailed information. See sections 103 and 408 of PL 104-88.  03/01/1996 

Statement of Need: The motor carrier industry requires 24-hour activities to meet the operational demands of a healthy U.S. economy. Growth in long-haul, regional, overnight, and local operations is increasing with the growth of the U.S. economy. Therefore, night work, shift work, and irregular work schedules will continue to be commonplace. ^PWith this growth, the scientific knowledge about sleep, sleep disorders, circadian physiology, fatigue, and performance decrements has also grown. Some of the scientific knowledge has indicated that medium- and heavy-duty truck and bus drivers may experience performance-impairing fatigue from sleep loss resulting from current motor carrier duty and operational practices. A primary purpose of this rulemaking is to incorporate as much of the scientific knowledge as possible into the applicable regulations. ^PIn addition, industry, safety advocates, and individuals have told the FHWA that the current regulations constrain productivity, are confusing, and focus enforcement on sloppy recordkeeping practices rather than on violations of the underlying hours-of-service rules. Therefore, a second purpose of the rulemaking is to establish enforceable, consistent, and clear work duty periods and sleep requirements for all types of operations.

Summary of the Legal Basis: Title 49 United States Code, Section 31502 allows the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe maximum hours-of-service regulations for employees of motor carriers when needed to promote the safety of operations. ^PSection 408 of the ICC Termination Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-88, December 29, 1995) requires the Federal Highway Administration to issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, a notice of proposed rulemaking, and a final rule dealing with a variety of fatigue-related issues pertaining to commercial motor vehicle safety (including 8 hours of continuous sleep after 10 hours of driving, loading and unloading operations, automated and tamper-proof recording devices, rest and recovery cycles, fatigue and stress in longer combination vehicles, fitness for duty, and other appropriate regulatory and enforcement countermeasures for reducing fatigue-related incidents and increasing driver alertness).

Alternatives: One alternative is to continue the current rules. Other alternatives may include replacing the current daily maximum 15-hour on-duty, maximum 10-hour-driving, minimum 8-hour-off-duty periods and weekly 60-hour-in-seven-day sliding week with an alternative set of rules based upon scientific knowledge and submitted comments. The FHWA will consider "one-size-does-not-fit-all" types of regulations. The FHWA will consider different regulations for different types of drivers, operations, or classification of vehicles. ^PFinally, the FHWA will consider modifying the information collection burdens upon the motor carrier industry, including the following types of record keeping methods. 1) Reducing the required items on the record of duty status (log book). 2) Adding automated on-board recording devices to commercial motor vehicles. 3) Adding global positioning system on-board recording devices to commercial motor vehicles. 4) Eliminating all FHWA hours-of-service record keeping requirements while relying exclusively on the duplicative hours-of-service record keeping system of records required by the U.S. Department of Labor under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: Undetermined. A cost-benefit analysis completed in 1981 based upon a 1978 notice of proposed rulemaking calculated national costs between $10.6 and $11.5 billion with possible societal benefits of about $450 million, a benefit-to-cost ratio under one. (In 1997 dollars, this would be national costs between $20.67 and $22.43 billion with possible societal benefits of about $878 million.) A new cost-benefit analysis is underway and will be conducted and reported in compliance with OMB Circular A-94, "Discount Rates to be Used in Evaluating Time-Distributed Costs and Benefits." The FHWA believes it can develop a rule with a benefit-to-cost ratio of more than one for this rulemaking. The FHWA is planning to develop a rule that will produce a "win-win" outcome (increased safety and unchanged or increased productivity). ^PThe FHWA will also attempt to analyze additional costs resulting from higher transportation rates and disruptions on ongoing business operations, though these costs will be difficult to assess. These might include rates and disruptions to just-in-time deliveries, manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, wholesale and retail deliveries, and individual participants' lives (e.g., increases in consumer prices and road congestion).

Risks: The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's databases show fatigue as a contributing factor in 306 to 1,163 annual police-reported crashes nationally. Some scientific research suggests the number may be closer to 364 to 4,070 of all crashes (police-reported and non-police-reported). Fatigue is increasingly becoming the focus of possible causes contributing to all crashes. Driver reports of being tired and sleepy to the point of incapacity are not uncommon, and it is reasonable, given the sheer volume of motor carrier traffic, to expect drowsy, unalert drivers to be a factor in future crashes.

Action Date FR Cite
ANPRM  11/05/1996  61 FR 57251   
Notice of Meeting  02/11/1997  62 FR 6161   
ANPRM Comment Period End  03/31/1997    
ANPRM Extension of Comment Period  03/31/1997  62 FR 15150   
NPRM  10/00/1998    
Additional Information: Section 408 mandates that the FHWA issue an ANPRM dealing with a variety of fatigue related issues.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: State 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions, Organizations 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
Agency Contact:
David Miller
Regulatory Development Division
MC-PRR, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE.,
Washington, DC 20590
Phone:202 366-5370