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Hours-Of-Service Proposal Getting Closer

August 30, 1999

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A long-awaited proposal to reform truck driver hours-of-service appears to be nearing publication.

The proposal, which has been in the works since 1996, could be sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget in September, and clearance for publication in the Federal Register could come within two months, a source said.
Details are not officially available but sources have confirmed that the proposal will be based on a 24-hour clock, divided into 14 hours on-duty and 10 hours off.
This contradicts a story that ran in USA Today reporting that the Federal Highway Administration was going to propose a 14-hour off-duty requirement. Officials in and outside of government said they were besieged by calls from truckers: a 14-hour off-duty requirement would put them out of business.
More unofficial details: drivers would get two hours of break time during their 14 hours on-duty, to be taken at the driver's discretion. Also, the proposal may include different rules for different kinds of trucking operations. For example, long-haul drivers who are on the road for several nights would get additional time off.

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