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New Hours Rule: 12 On, 12 Off

January 15, 2000

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The much-anticipated federal hours-of-service rule will allow 12 hours of driving with 12 hours off and electronic recorders will be mandated, according to Parents Against Tired Truckers.

Information received by the Maine-based truck-safety group stipulates that 10 of the 12 off-duty hours must be taken together. The remaining two hours must be taken in half-hour segments to break up on-duty stretches. A complex restart provision seems designed to discourage driving between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.
PATT provided the information to TruckingInfo.com in an e-mail on Saturday evening, Jan. 15. Russ Swift, a PATT vice president, said more than one reliable source had provided PATT with the same information, assuring its credibility.
PATT, which has been represented before state and federal legislative committees, has numerous contacts in government as well as among truck drivers.
Provisions in the new rule, as outlined in the PATT e-mail to TruckingInfo.com:
* 10 hours of rest.
* 12 hours of driving.
* 2 hours of breaks which must be taken in 0.5 hr increments.
* Reset provision after two consecutive midnight-6 a.m. periods off, totaling at least 32 hours.
* Electronic recorders mandated.
* If taking advantage of reset provisions, must get off work by 11 p.m. and cannot start work until 7 a.m. to count core off-duty periods during 12-6 a.m.
* Getting off work after 11 p.m. means that additional time off must be taken (55 hours + 55 minutes).
* Some averaging among weeks is permitted (can drive 72 hours one week, 48 hours the following week; can have 32-hour break one week and then must have 80-hour break).
The proposal is currently being reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget. It is expected to be made public within the next few weeks. After it is published in the Federal Register, affected parties will have a chance to comment, and the rules could be changed again before they are made final.

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