Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
For Immediate Release
New hours rules mean smarter, safer choices for truckers
OOIDA: “It’s about freakin’ time.” Literally.
(Washington, D.C., August 14, 2019) – A common sense approach has finally been proposed by the federal government regarding how long truck drivers work and drive. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association thanks the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for listening to truck drivers’ concerns and including provisions that make it easier for them to avoid heavy traffic, bad weather and other less than ideal situations.
“Truckers have families and want to get home safely just like everyone else. They are the most knowledgeable, highway safety advocates and the agency’s proposal, overall, recognizes that fact,” said Todd Spencer, President of OOIDA.
The newly announced proposed rulemaking includes expanding the short haul air-mile radius from 100 to 150 air miles, extending the short haul duty period from 12 to 14 hours, modifying the 30-minute rest break to only apply after 8 hours driving, the creation of an “adverse driving” provision, the ability to stop the 14-hour clock, and options for drivers to split their time, commonly referred to as a split sleeper berth provision.
“Over the past decade, truck drivers have been more regulated than ever, and more compliant than ever, and yet crashes are going up,” said Spencer. “We have pushed for flexibility in hours of service regulations for years, long before the current Administration. We thank Administrator Ray Martinez for his commitment to the issue and for listening to those that actually drive trucks for a living.”
The Association points out that truckers are expected to comply with a litany of regulations while meeting the needs of shippers and receivers that are often oblivious to those rules. Reports on delays show that it’s common for drivers to wait 30-40 hours per week to be loaded or unloaded by customers.
“There may not be a one-size fits all solution, but the proposed changes are a positive start since truckers don’t have any control over their schedules or traffic conditions. For too long and too often, they find themselves in unsafe circumstances because of current, overly restrictive rules that decrease highway safety.”
“We thank our members for their participation in the process and encourage them to remain proactive in making comments and communicating with lawmakers on this and all issues that affect them,” added Spencer.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest, national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 160,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo. area.