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DOT says new HOS rules will save taxpayers $4 BILLION


The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) said that a series of proposed changes to truck driver Hours of Service regulations will result in billions of dollars worth of savings for American taxpayers.

On July 16, the DOT issued a press release touting the savings that various new regulatory reforms are expected to bring to the U.S. economy.

In total, the DOT said that regulatory reform will save the economy and consumers $90 billion since 2017.

Specifically, the DOT claimed that the reformed Hours of Service regulations set to go into effect at the end of September 2020 will cut more than $4 billion in regulatory costs during an unspecified time period.

“Tackling overly bureaucratic, inflexible, outdated government regulations that don’t contribute to increased safety benefits the public, helps spur economic growth and creates jobs,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The Hours of Service Final Rule debuted on May 14, 2020. At that time, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said that the new HOS rules would save the U.S. economy and consumers $274 million per year, with most of those savings coming from the increased flexibility that the new 30 minute rest break rule will provide for drivers. The reason for the discrepancy between the $4 billion estimate and the $274 million estimate is unclear.

Check out the key HOS charges set to go into place in September below.

  • The Agency will increase safety and flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by requiring a break after 8 hours of consecutive driving and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status, rather than off-duty status.
  • The Agency will modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: an 8/2 split, or a 7/3 split—with neither period counting against the driver’s 14‑hour driving window.
  • The Agency will modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
  • The Agency will change the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

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