[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 202 (Thursday, October 18, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 64093-64094]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-25789]



Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 395

[Docket No. FMCSA-2011-0373]

Hours of Service of Drivers

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of public listening session.


SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that it will hold a public listening session 
to solicit information, concepts, ideas, and information on hours-of-
service (HOS) requirements for drivers of passenger-carrying commercial 
motor vehicles (CMVs). Specifically, the Agency would like to know what 
factors, issues, and data it should consider as it determines 
preliminarily whether the HOS regulations applicable to these drivers 
need to be changed to decrease the risk of fatigue-related crashes. The 
session, which will be held in Santa Barbara, CA, will allow interested 
persons to present comments, views, and relevant new research that 
FMCSA should consider in drafting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
(NPRM). All comments will be transcribed and placed in the docket for 
FMCSA's consideration. The entire day's proceedings will be webcast.

DATES: The listening session will be held on Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 
in Santa Barbara, CA. The listening session will be held from 1:15 p.m. 
until 5:30 p.m., LT, or earlier, if all participants wishing to express 
their views have done so.

ADDRESSES: The October 30, 2012, meeting will be held at the Fess 
Parker's Doubletree Resort, 633 East Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara, CA 
93103. The hotel telephone number is 1-805-884-8511.
    Internet Address for Live Webcast. FMCSA will post specific 
information on how to participate via the Internet on the FMCSA Web 
site at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/topics/hos/HOS-Listening-Sessions.aspx.
    You may submit comments bearing the Federal Docket Management 
System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2011-0373 using any of the following 
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room 
W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 
5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.

Each submission must include the Agency name and the docket number for 
this notice. Note that DOT posts all comments received without change 
to www.regulations.gov, including any personal information included in 
a comment. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments, go to www.regulations.gov at any time or visit Room W12-140 
on the ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. The on-line Federal document management system 
is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. If you want 
acknowledgment that we received your comments, please include a self-
addressed, stamped envelope or postcard or print the acknowledgement 
page that appears after submitting comments on-line.
    Privacy Act: Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or of the person signing the comment, if 
submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). 
You may review DOT's Privacy Act Statement for the Federal Docket 
Management System published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 
(73 FR 3316), or you may visit http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-785.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information concerning the 
listening session or the live webcast, please contact Ms. Shannon L. 
Watson, Senior Advisor for Policy, FMCSA, (202) 385-2395.
    If you need sign language assistance to participate in this HOS 
listening session, contact Ms. Watson by Thursday, October 18, 2012, to 
allow us to arrange for such services. There is no guarantee that 
interpreter services requested on short notice can be provided.


I. Background

    The HOS requirements for motorcoach operators have not been 
substantially revised in several decades.

[[Page 64094]]

The FMCSA did not include changes to the motorcoach HOS requirements in 
its April 2003 final rule and subsequent revisions concerning HOS 
requirements for truck drivers because the Agency did not have enough 
data and information on motorcoach operations to form the basis of a 
rulemaking notice. Motorcoach operations differ significantly from 
trucking operations and the information upon which the Agency relied 
for its truck drivers' rule did not address the unique fatigue issues 
associated with the scheduling and operating practices of the 
motorcoach industry.
    The current HOS rules for passenger-carrying operations allow up to 
10 hours of driving time following 8 consecutive hours off duty. 
Driving is prohibited after the operator has accumulated 15 hours of 
on-duty time following 8 consecutive hours off duty (15-hour rule). The 
15-hour window may be extended by off-duty periods, unlike the 14-hour 
window for drivers of property-carrying vehicles.
    With regard to weekly limitations, drivers of passenger-carrying 
vehicles are subject to a 60- or 70-hour rule but, unlike drivers of 
property-carrying vehicles, they may not restart their calculations 
after 34 consecutive hours off duty. At this time, the Agency is moving 
toward developing a proposal to revise the regulations for hours-of-
service for drivers of passenger-carrying CMVs.

II. Meeting Participation and Information FMCSA Seeks From the Public

    The listening session is open to the public. Speakers' remarks will 
be limited to 5 minutes each. The public may submit material to the 
FMCSA staff at the session for inclusion in the public docket, FMCSA-
    The Agency seeks data and answers relating to the following issues 
and questions. The comments sought below may be submitted in written 
form at the session and summarized verbally, if desired.
    1. Driving Time. FMCSA is seeking additional studies or data that 
examine in greater detail the fatigue and safety differences associated 
with different driving times.
    2. Duty Time/Driving Window. FMCSA is soliciting information on 
patterns of work for night drivers.
    3. Time-On-Task (TOT) Function. The Agency seeks comment on whether 
its approach to estimating its TOT function is reasonable given the 
lack of good exposure data. The Agency is interested in any suggestions 
for improving its approach for estimating TOT effects, especially 
information on where it might obtain better data on exposure and other 
driver characteristics that would enable it to improve its estimation 
of how or whether crash risk varies over successive hours of daily 
    4. Cumulative Fatigue. The Agency seeks comment on whether its 
methodology for evaluating cumulative fatigue and its impact on driving 
performance is reasonable. The Agency also welcomes further information 
on the effects of cumulative fatigue, particularly in the form of 
scientific studies or data that would allow better evaluation of 
cumulative fatigue and its impact on workplace safety, driver safety 
performance, and productivity.

III. Alternative Media Broadcasts During and Immediately After the 
Listening Session on October 30, 2012

    FMCSA will webcast the listening session on the Internet. Specific 
information on how to participate via the Internet and the telephone 
access number will be on the FMCSA Web site at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/topics/hos/HOS-Listening-Sessions.aspx.
    FMCSA will docket the transcripts of the webcast and a separate 
transcription of the listening session that will be prepared by an 
official court reporter.

    Issued on: October 11, 2012.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2012-25789 Filed 10-17-12; 8:45 am]