Teamsters, Safety Groups Petition TMCSA To Delay Driver HOS Amendments

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters along with four highway safety groups filed a petition this week to delay the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) recent driver hours of service (HOS) rule supported by PMAA and national trucking associations.

The petition is important to petroleum marketers because it seeks to overturn the short-haul driver amendment that lengthens CDL drivers’ maximum on-duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extends the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

The short-haul amendment originated with PMAA and is designed to provide short haul drivers the same on-duty and driving time as all other CDL drivers.

The group seeks to delay implementation of the rule set for September 29, 2020 until the FMCSA completes a full review of the issues raised in the petition.

The petition argues that the HOS rule in general and the short-haul exemption specifically will increase driver fatigue and result in more accidents.

PMAA argues that fatigue is a concern for long haul drivers who are on the road for weeks at a time and not short haul drivers who return home every day at the end of their shift.

Each of the parties in the petition filed comments on the HOS proposed rule citing the same fatigue issues when it was proposed last year.

Democrats in Congress are also seeking a delay in the HOS final rule in a House version of the transportation reauthorization bill. However, even if the HOS provision passes the House, it will not survive in the Republican controlled Senate.

FMCSA has given no timeline for completing review of the petition. PMAA will continue to actively support the short-haul driver exemption in the final rule.

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