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Trucker formally asks FMCSA for exemption from HOS and ELD rules for himself only


A truck driver has asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for a five year exemption from federal Hours of Service (HOS) and Electronic Logging Device (ELD) requirements.

In a notice published in the Federal Register on August 19, truck driver Ronnie Brown III requested five years of regulatory relief for himself from many parts of federal HOS and ELD regulations, including the 10 consecutive hour off-duty time requirement, the 11-hour driving limit, the 14-hour “driving window,” and 60 hour in 7 day and 70 hour in 8-day limits, as well as the ELD rule.

Brown points to several areas of concern, including safety, as reasons for the exemption request. From the Federal Register notice:

The requested exemption is solely for the applicant, who states that the HOS regulations present “safety concerns” and are a “one size fits all set of rules.” He further adds that the ELD and HOS regulations are a “control mechanism by the government” and a violation of his “constitutional right to free movement.” He states he “can safely drive . . . no matter the amount of sleep [he] get[s] or the length of drive time.”

“Eld and hours of service as they are set make drivers such as myself to drive tired at times without the ability to stop for a nap without interfering with the hours of service for that day and can lose hours in a day because I can not legally drive tired. Also load and unload times impact my hours of service due to the length of time it takes most warehouses to unload a truck,” Brown said in a letter to the FMCSA.

Brown says that he has been operating commercial vehicles for more than 15 years.

“I can safely utilize my time in the loading and unloading docks to take naps during the process. I can safely drive and know when I am tired and do not push beyond my limits of safety no matter the amount of sleep I get or the length of drive time. I can maintain a safe distance from other vehicles no matter the situation on the road and have never had a preventable accident and only one non preventable accident in 2007,” Brown argued.

The FMCSA is accepting public comments on Brown’s request through September 19. You can deliver your comment online at this link.


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