A rule regulating driver detention may be shelved for the foreseeable future, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Policy Director Robert Miller said this week, according to a report posted by JOC.com.
While a report on excessive driver detention time will be released in the spring, a rulemaking will not follow it as FMCSA is expected to forgo extending regulations to shippers. The FAST Act does not require MCSA to regulate driver detention times or shipper operations, according to Miller, and the agency is not planning any rulemaking on it.
The federal government has been planning and assessing research on loading and unloading delays for drivers for many years. With the upcoming ELD mandate and current hours of service regulations, long delays while on duty can reduce a driver’s productivity and profitability in ways that might encourage unsafe driving behavior or regulatory cheating.
The FAST Act directed FMCSA to issue regulations on collecting data on loading and unloading delays and to report the impact of those delays on the economy and efficiency of the transportation system.
As the JOC.com news story points out, Anne Ferro, FMCSA Admninistrator for part of the Obama administration, seemed to be focused on driver detention issues, even as she was on her way out of the position, advocating for drivers to receive at least the federal minimum wage for time spent waiting to be loaded or unloaded. She left her post in 2014.
“It is essential to recognize that professional drivers should be compensated for all time on duty,” Ferro told reporters in a 2014 exit interview. "That’s integral to achieving the overall safety mission."