Yesterday, the controversial new HOS regulations were submitted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to the Office of Management and Budget, the next step for the proposal to become federal law.
How long with the OMB take before the new hours of service regulations apply to American truckers? It’s not clear. The OMB does not have a set in stone deadline within which to make its call on the FMCSA proposed rule. Furthermore, the OMB can review the proposal and okay it without change, or the OMB can send it back to the agency for tweaking. Of course, there’s that letter from Congress to President Obama to consider (read our earlier post here).
So, while the new HOS regulations are much, much closer to being federal law in this country, there’s no way to predict exactly when they will go into effect.
What’s all the bickering about on these hours of service rules, and what exactly are they? We’ve covered that in an earlier post, too. Suffice to say, the amount of time that a truck driver sits behind the wheel of a big rig semi tractor trailer truck, heavy and moving fast on an American roadway, is key to how safe we all are on the roads today. It’s a big deal, and there’s a big fight.
But will this be the end of all the hoopla over the new hours of service rules? No. There’s still some courtroom action that will be taking place. Right now, the FMCSA is also involved in a federal lawsuit over the HOS rule changes – other parties include the consumer advocacy groups Public Citizen and Advocates for Highway Safety and Truck Safety Coalition along with the Teamsters union.