The roundtables will be held on September 25-26; September 28-29, and October 5-6. They will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. The first roundtable will be held at the National 4-H Center, Chevy Chase, MD, and the others at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC.
In order to give the public time to review transcripts of the meetings, FMCSA has extended the comment period on the rulemaking to December 15, 2000.
Each of the roundtables is dedicated to specific agenda issues. Agenda items for roundtable I include economic impacts of revising the current HOS rules, fatigue research, and enforcement. Roundtable II will focus on sleeper berth requirements, communications during rest periods, end of work-week rest periods, and hours of work permitted each day. Roundtable III will cover categories of carrier operations, electronic on-board recorder requirements, and allowable exemptions.
A different roster of commenters and organizations will be invited to form each roundtable. Each will limited to no more than 22 members. FMCSA stressed that the roundtables are not intended to form consensus on any issue but to foster discussion among stakeholders and the public. Members of the public are invited to attend and will have the opportunity to add to each dialogue. No organization or individual will be invited to more than one roundtable.
Sources at the American Trucking Associations say that while the FMCSA's decision to hold roundtables is a positive step, they are still backing the pending bill that would halt the rulemaking process by cutting funding to it.
FMCSA did not say what organizations would be invited to each roundtable but did offer a list of organizations and groups to be included: AAA, Advocates for Auto and Highway Safety, Amalgamated Transit Union, American Bakers Association, American Bus Association, American Insurance Association, American Moving & Storage Association, American Road and Transportation Builders Association, American Trucking Associations, Associated General Contractors of America, Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, commercial vehicle drivers, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, home heating oil representative, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Motor Freight Carriers Association, National Association of Governors' Highway Safety
Representatives, National Industrial Transportation League, National Private Truck Council, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, National Sleep Foundation, National Safety Council, National Tank Truck Carriers, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Parents Against Tired Truckers, Petroleum Marketers Association of America, small trucking company representatives, Snack Food Association, Transportation Trades Division of AFL-CIO, Truckload Carriers Association, United Motorcoach Association, and VDO North America.
A transcript of each roundtable will be placed in the rulemaking docket, which can be accessed on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov. The docket number is FMCSA-97-2350. Information is also available at FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Regulatory Information Service www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rulesregs/fmcsr/rulemakings.htm.