DOT Calls on Truck Safety Stakeholders to Discuss New Standard

Aug. 11, 2000
Agency seeks to update a 60-year-old rule on hours of service.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater yesterday called on leaders from the trucking industry, labor unions and safety groups to gather together with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to update the 60-year-old hours-of-service rule to help prevent truck and bus crashes involving fatigued drivers.

"Our purpose is to ensure that drivers of trucks and buses have sufficient opportunity for rest so that we can reduce the number of fatalities that result from fatigue-related crashes," Slater said. "The purpose of these meetings will be to obtain information these groups may have so that we can incorporate it into our deliberations and continue our rulemaking process."

Participants will be expected to provide in-depth information in three topic areas for three roundtables. The roundtables, each of which is expected to last two days, will be scheduled for September and October.

Participants will be invited to join others at the table, based on comments they have submitted or made at public hearings. The roundtable also will be open to the public.

Topics at these meetings include the economic impact of revising the safety standard, fatigue research, law enforcement, sleeper berth requirements, communication during rest periods, end-of-work-week rest periods and hours of work permitted each day.

Slater also announced that the comment period on the hours-of-service rulemaking will be extended to Dec. 15. This is the second time the comment period has been extended to obtain the most input during the process. The comment period, originally ending July 30, was first extended to Oct. 30.

There were 5,203 truck-related fatalities in 1999. Approximately 800 each year are fatigue related, according to DOT.

DOT said the proposed rule would prevent an estimated 2,600 crashes, 115 fatalities and 2,995 serious injuries annually.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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