#Law Reform
United States Department of Transportation
United States of America

Current hours of service rules do not allow for any common sense in logging.

First and foremost there is No distinction between work related duties and driving. Currently, any duty performed during the tour of duty is subtracted from available driving hours.

More trucks on the road, mean longer fuel lines, more time needed to get into and out of shippers, receivers and truck stops. The main goal in the industry is safety. Drivers are not allowed to log honestly what actually happens during the day, even though the industry slogan is "log it as you do it". This is fantasy and not reality.

Examples of common sense logging would be;

1. Driving time logged would stop when entering a truck stop of shipping/receiving facility. Why? because it does not make sense to have to log the 2 mintutes or 20 minutes it takes to wait while other drivers maneuver for a parking spot. If "safety" is truely the goal, the industry rules would not force us to rush, in an area where a majority of accidents occur.

2. Sitting in a fuel line for up to a half an hour, or waiting in line or maneuvering in a shipper/receiver facility is not driving. (yes I have heard the arguement that "well, what if an accident occurs in this situation"?) simple, you log it at the time it happens, and do all the appropriate paperwork. This need not take up a drivers available driving hours. Also, scale inspections, because they are a hit and miss item, that may happen during any given week, or may not happen for several weeks, should be logged to show when and how long, but should not take from the driving hours.

We, the undersigned, call on the U.S. Department of Transportation to make immediate changes to the Hours of Service Rules governing truck drivers.

1. 70 hours in 8 days to be changed to 77 "driving hours" in 7 days. These 77 hours will Only be logged as "on duty driving". This schedule can go on for a maximum of 6 weeks before a mandatory 72 restart break is required. All other "on duty" items will be logged, but will not count against the driving hours. This schedule should only be for over the road drivers. OTR drivers leave their homes for anwhere from 2 to 8 weeks plus, and as such should be given different rules than those local drivers that are home nightly and every weekend. OTR drivers many times are given loads that extend over the weekend time, and while usually give a good 24 hour break, do not have the extra 10 hours currently required to restart the 70 hour clock. Giving the OTR driver an 11 hour a day driving period, to be done within a 16 hour window, that does not substract the on duty chores from the driving time, would promote safety and reduce stress.

2. The 14 hour rule would be extended to 16 hours with the following:
a. Time spent in the sleeper during the 16 hour duty day of 2 hours or more will extend the duty day by the same. Drivers must have the flexability to get a rest period when needed. Safety for the driver means safety for the public.
b. If a driver is delayed at a shipper or receiver past 2 hours, the 16 hour day can be extended an additional 2 hours for driving. Also, extended periods of 2 plus hours, in the sleeper can use example (a) above.

Lastly, it is understood that no matter what rules are put into place in this industry or any other, there will always be some who seek to break or use to some advantage the breaking of said rules. We would ask that much more serious consequense be brought about for those that would intentionally go beyond these rules.

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The Truck Drivers For Common Sense Hours of Service Rules petition to United States Department of Transportation was written by Larry Alford and is in the category Law Reform at GoPetition.