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FMCSA Keeps 11-Hour Trucker Driving Limit

December 13, 2007

Truck drivers will continue to be limited to driving up to 11 hours within a 14-hour duty period, after which they must go off duty for at least 10 hours under an interim final rule (IFR) by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The IFR was developed after new data showed that safety levels have been maintained since the 11-hour driving limit was first implemented in 2003.The FMCSA noted that, in 2006, the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was 1.94 – the lowest rate ever recorded. Since 2003, the percentage of large trucks involved in fatigue-related fatal crashes in the 11th hour of driving has remained below the average of the 1991-2002 yearly rates. The agency is also working to finalize a proposed rule that would require drivers and trucking companies with serious or repeat hours-of-service violations to track their hours using electronic on-board recorders. The agency issued the new rule in response to the recent decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacating key provisions of the existing hours-of-service rules, effective Dec. 27. In order to ensure no gap in coverage of these rules, the IFR temporarily reinstates the two provisions. The agency will gather public comment on its actions and the safety analysis before issuing a final rule.For more information about the IFR, visit: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/about/news/news-releases/2007/hos.pdf.
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