The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Friday, May 6, that it has placed four additional documents in the public docket of its December 2010 notice of proposed rulemaking concerning hours of service for commercial motor vehicle drivers and that it was reopening the NPRM’s comment period for 30 days to allow for review and discussion of the documents and FMCSA’s possible consideration of their findings in the development of the final rule.
FMCSA also said that because of the comment period’s extension, it will be unable to issue the final rule by a court-negotiated deadline of July 26. The agency said only comments related to the four additional documents will be considered during the 30-day extension. The four studies are:
- “The Impact of Driving, Non-Driving Work, and Rest Breaks on Driving Performance in Commercial Motor Vehicle Operations“;
- “Hours of Service and Driver Fatigue-Driver Characteristics Research“;
- “Analysis of the Relationship Between Operator Cumulative Driving Hours and Involvement in Preventable Collisions“; and
- “Potential Causes Of Driver Fatigue: A Study On Transit Bus Operators In Florida.”
FMCSA also advised the public of an adjustment to the rulemaking schedule previously agreed to in litigation before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (Case No. 09-1094). Pursuant to an Oct. 26, 2009 agreement between Public Citizen, other petitioners and FMCSA, the agency was to publish a final rule within 21 months of the date of the settlement agreement.
FMCSA said the extra comment period for the four additional documents will require additional time that was not envisioned in 2009 and that it will be unable to publish a final rule by the previously agreed-upon date of July 26, 2011. The agency said it has advised petitioners of the delay to the rulemaking schedule.
To comment on the four additional documents, go to www.regulations.gov; the docket number is FMCSA-2004-19608. The deadline to file comments is June 9.