Notice of proposal to initiate a pilot program; request for comments.
The FMCSA is announcing its proposal to initiate a pilot program in which the agency would grant an exemption from the weekly hours-of-service restrictions for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) making home heating oil deliveries that occur within 100 air- miles of a central terminal or distribution point, during the winter months. The FMCSA also intends to allow States to grant temporary exemptions from the weekly restrictions in their intrastate hours-of- service regulations for the transportation of home heating oil during the winter months for the purpose of enabling intrastate motor carriers conducting such operations to do so under terms and conditions identical to those used in the FMCSA's pilot program. The intrastate carriers would be required by the States in which they operate to report certain accident data to the FMCSA so that the agency can monitor their safety performance, combine the intrastate data with the interstate data, and analyze the results. Under the current regulations, drivers may not drive after being on duty 60 hours in any seven consecutive days if the motor carrier does not operate CMVs every day of the week (60-hour rule), or after being on duty 70 hours in any eight consecutive days if the motor carrier operates CMVs every day of the week (70-hour rule). During the pilot program, participating motor carriers would be allowed to ``restart'' calculations for the 60-hour or 70-hour rule, whichever is applicable, after the driver has an off- duty period encompassing two consecutive nights off-duty that include the period of midnight to 6 a.m. This action is in response to a request from the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA). The exemption, if granted, would preempt inconsistent State and local requirements applicable to interstate commerce.