NATSO urged the Department of Transportation (DOT) to consider any effect that proposed changes to the truck driver Hours-of-Service Rule would have on professional truck drivers’ ability to find safe, legal parking when they need it.
In comments filed with the agency, NATSO urged DOT to integrate truck parking considerations into its evaluation of revisions to the federal HOS regime in order to live up to the Department’s priority of addressing truck parking concerns.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in August issued a proposed rule to revamp the HOS regulation that governs truck driver work and rest periods. The proposal maintains the rule’s overall core principles – including prohibiting drivers from driving more than eight consecutive hours without a 30 minute break. However, regulators outlined five amendments to the rule, including increasing flexibility for the 30-minute break rule.
Specifically, NATSO asked the agency to refrain from looking at truck parking in a vacuum and to integrate the issue into other policy discussions and deliberations. NATSO also urged the agency to conduct a thorough evaluation to understand how the Proposed HOS Rule will affect truck parking utilization.
NATSO cited the electronic logging device mandate that went into effect in December 2017 as an example of a regulation that created a number of unintended and undesirable truck parking scenarios.
Although the ELD mandate has not increased demand for truck parking per se, the mandate, in conjunction with shippers’ and receivers’ strict pickup and delivery time window requirements, has led to many travel plaza parking lots filling up earlier in the day than they had previously.
For its part, NATSO said it appreciates that DOT is looking for ways to provide greater flexibility to commercial truck drivers but said the agency must be cognizant of how potential regulatory changes will affect truck parking utilization.
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