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DOT/FHWA RIN: 2125-AD93 Publication ID: Spring 2000 
Title: +Hours of Service of Drivers (Section 610 Review) 
Abstract: This action would revise the FHWA's hours of service regulations. It is mandated by the ICC Termination Act of 1995. It also responds to the NTSB's safety recommendations, petitions for rulemaking, and new scientific data. There is substantial public and congressional interest in the regulation of 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, and an unfunded mandates analysis, and a paperwork reduction analysis. This action is considered significant because of substantial public and congressional interest. This action has been transferred to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration under RIN 2126-AA23. 
Agency: Department of Transportation(DOT)  Priority: Economically Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Completed Actions 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: Private Sector 
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  Deadline is for an ANPRM.  03/01/1996 
Final  Statutory    11/05/1999 
NPRM  Statutory    11/05/1997 

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. With this growth, the scientific knowledge about sleep, sleep disorders, circadian physiology, fatigue, and performance decrements has also grown. One of the purposes of this rulemaking is to incorporate as much of the scientific knowledge as possible into the applicable regulations.

Summary of the Legal Basis: Section 31502 of Title 49, United States Code, authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe maximum hours-of-service regulations for employees of motor carriers when needed to promote the safety of operations. Section 408 of the ICC Termination Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-88, December 29, 1995) requires the Federal Highway Administration to issue 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 different regulations for different types of drivers, operations, or classification of vehicles. The FHWA will also consider modifying the information collection burdens that have been placed 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 and 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."

Risks: The Department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's databases show fatigue as a contributing factor in 306 to 1,163 annual police-reported crashes for all vehicles nationally. Some scientific research suggests the number may be closer to 364 to 4,070 of all crashes (police-reported and non-police-reported).

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    
Transferred to RIN 2126-AA23  12/06/1999    
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions, Organizations  Federalism: Yes 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
Agency Contact:
David Miller
Regulatory Development Division
Department of Transportation
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
MC-PRR, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE.,
Washington, DC 20590
Phone:202 366-5370