trucking114Last Friday, while delivering the Keynote Speech at the Mid-West Truck & Trailer Show in Peoria, Ill.,   FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro refused to budge when it comes to the new Hours of Service Rule, during the Q & A portion of her address.

We are not changing the rule. This is the first time in a decade that we’ve got a rule that passed legal challenge. There are today no changes afoot.

…There continues, though, to be commitment on my part to one, take what we are hearing to improve how we are explaining the rules so that everybody has examples you can use while training your drivers, dispatchers and safety directors,” Ferro said. “And that we understand what the impact is on your operation and how many different ways that’s being interpreted. And two, continue to research to see, down the road, you know … to see what is the best approach. But again, this rule is in place.

That statement followed her speech, which touched on several topics, including electronic logging devices, Compliance, Safety, Accountability Scores, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s overall safety mission.

The current HOS rule, which began being enforced July 1, 2013, states that the 34-hour restart provision can only be used once every 168 hours and must include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods. Drivers are also required to take a 30-minute break after working eight consecutive hours.

During her address, Ferro once again brought up her two-day ride-along from Maryland to Missouri with owner-operator Leo Wilkins in November, where she slept in the truck’s sleeper berth,

What an eye-opener for me, what I knew in theory, of the operations and regulations already put in place.

According to Ferro, the new rule has decreased the number of HOS violations. She claimed that, initially, there were about 500 to 600 violations of the 30-minute break provision, but that has now slowed down to about 400 a month in the last two months.

Concerning the rule about drivers not driving after 60 hours in seven consecutive days or 70 hours in eight consecutive days, Ferro said that there were about 900 violations prior to the rule being enforced in July. In the first two months after the ruling, there were about 1,200 violations.

According to the FMCSA Administrator, violations have now dropped down to the 800-range in a month, because,

It comes down to ensuring your drivers and you are rested behind the wheel.

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