11/29/2011 12:00:00 PM
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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration expects to complete work on a final hours-of-service rule within the next 30 days, according to a joint report of the agency and plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit.
â€œThe final [HOS] rule is under review by the Office of Management and Budget, and FMCSA expects to issue the final rule within 30 days,â€� said the report, filed Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
A spokeswoman for FMCSA said Monday that the agency is working to issue a final rule â€œas quickly as possible.â€�
Since the hours-of-service rule went into effect in 2004, the fatality rate in truck-involved crashes has dropped by 36%, nearly twice as fast as the decline in overall highway deaths over that time.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit â€” which include the groups Public Citizen and the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety â€” said they plan to file motions to â€œgovern further proceedingsâ€� within 45 days.
When it announced the proposed revision of the 2008 HOS rule in December, FMCSA said it was leaning toward cutting driving hours back to 10 from 11, and modifying a 34-hour reset provision by requiring two rest periods of at least six hours falling between midnight and 6 a.m.
Henry Jasny, co-counsel for the plaintiffs, said that â€œsince the rule has been at OMB for nearly 30 days we might as well wait for the rule to be issued.â€�
A House subcommittee is planning an hours-of-service hearing Wednesday that will include testimony from Jasny, FMCSA Administor Anne Ferro, and several other trucking industry stakeholders.
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