The FMCSA, in compliance with the settlement agreement in the lawsuit brought by Public Citizen and other public interest groups, sent its new proposed hours of service (HOS) regulations to the White House. The FMCSA now has until July 2011 to publish the new rule.

The HOS regulations govern how long a truck driver can work before having to take time off to rest. The are in place because it is well known that a tired fatigued driver is a dangerous driver, far more likely to be in a wreck. I have multiple posts on the dangers of fatigue as this is a huge issue in the trucking industry. I have posted on the harsh conditions driver endure when forced to work long hours before, conditions that have caused many to call trucks rolling sweatshops and increased the danger to everyone that uses the roads and highways of America.

The last time the HOS rules were amended was on Jan 4, 2004, when the time a driver was able to spend driving was increased from 10 hours to 11 hours. HOS regulations were first adopted in 1939. There was a modification in 1962 and then again in 1995. The 2004 modifications, extending a driver’s hours, brought about the current lawsuit and settlement, requiring the FMCSA to publish a new HOS rule.