Hours of Service of Drivers
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); request for comments.
FMCSA is reviewing and reconsidering the regulations on hours of service of drivers published on April 28, 2003 (68 FR 22456) and amended on September 30, 2003 (68 FR 56208). The regulations were vacated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on July 16, 2004 (Public Citizen et al. v. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 374 F.3d 1209). Congress subsequently provided that the 2003 regulations will remain in effect until the effective date of a new final rule addressing the issues raised by the court or September 30, 2005, whichever occurs first (Section 7(f) of the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2004, Part V). FMCSA is reconsidering the 2003 regulations to determine what changes may be necessary to be consistent with the holdings and dicta of the Public Citizen decision. In order to allow effective public participation in the process before the statutory deadline, FMCSA is publishing this NPRM concurrently with its ongoing research and analysis of the issues raised by the court. To facilitate discussion, the agency is putting forward the 2003 rule as the ``proposal'' on which public comments are sought. This NPRM, however, asks the public to comment on what changes to that rule, if any, are necessary to respond to the concerns raised by the court, and to provide data or studies that would support changes to, or continued use of, the 2003 rule. The NPRM includes specific information on a variety of topics and specific questions for comment. FMCSA is not considering changes to the hours-of-service regulations applicable to drivers and operators of passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).