Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association Calls for Hours of Service Changes

"Today's truckers have never faced more regulations or greater enforcement and compliance with those regulations. Yet, crash numbers are going in the wrong direction," the comments from Todd Spencer, president of OOIDA, state. "A solution to reverse this trend is to give drivers more control over their own schedules."

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has filed comments on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the hours of service regulations, with OOIDA saying the current regs "are overly complex, provide virtually no flexibility, and in no way reflect the physical capabilities or limitations of individual drivers."

The association's comments also state that the current regulations effectively force drivers to be on the road when they're fatigued, during busy travel times and in adverse weather and road conditions.

"Today's truckers have never faced more regulations or greater enforcement and compliance with those regulations. Yet, crash numbers are going in the wrong direction," the comments from Todd Spencer, president of OOIDA, state. "A solution to reverse this trend is to give drivers more control over their own schedules."

OOIDA is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. It has more than 160,000 members nationwide.

Its comments recommend eliminating the 30-minute rest break and allowing drivers to take rest breaks once per 14-hour duty period for up to three consecutive hours as long as the driver is off duty. The association also recommends expanding split-sleeper berth flexibility and updating the definition of the "adverse conditions" exception and applying it to the 14-hour clock. OOIDA reported that it based the comments on feedback from its members who responded to an online survey.

"Small-business truckers are the safest and most diverse operators on the road," said Spencer. "Yet, for far too long, the federal government has failed to grasp the importance of this diversity and continues to burden the trucking industry with a 'one-size-fits-all' approach that punishes small businesses, stifles competition, and over-regulates an industry deregulated by design."

"We believe that these changes, if implemented, will not only help the trucking industry and improve highway safety, but can drive economic growth across the country, creating new opportunities and greater job satisfaction for millions of hard-working Americans," he said.

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