An agency official told trucking executives at an October meeting that they were ready but, before making the recommendations public, wanted to explore the possibility of a negotiated rulemaking. Basically, that would require a committee of industry and public representatives to hash out consensus draft rules. Those rules would then be published for public comment.
On December 7, FHWA said it has appointed two neutral "convenors" to determine if an advisory committee can be assembled that would “fairly represent all
affected interests and negotiate in good faith.” No deadline for a decision was given.
Meanwhile, the agency said it would continue to “move forward” with the traditional rulemaking process which, for hours-of-service, started in November, 1996. It also said it will continue to consider and evaluate various options for revising current hours-of-service regulations.