The final highway bill, which President Bush signed into law Aug. 10, did not codify the Hours of Service regulations so new rules are making their way through the government process now.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration must publish revised rules in the Federal Register prior to Sept. 30, as required by a federal appeals court which threw out the new rules last year. Congress extended the rules until Sept. 30 to give FMCSA time to write new rules.
On July 28, the agency forwarded re-written HOS rules to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for their final approval and signoff before the rules are formally published in the Federal Register.
According to the Truckload Carriers Association, the rules will likely become effective Oct. 1, but FMCSA may provide another soft enforcement period for a few months as they did in early 2004 when the current rules were first implemented.
TCA reported that FMCSA has scheduled a two-day training seminar, Aug. 31 through Sept. 1, in Washington to train its key field enforcement personnel on the new HOS. Some state enforcement personnel have been invited to the meeting.
I have seen another source claiming that the rules will be published August 22. So law enforcement and the industry will have approximately 1 month to get everybody up to speed. I wonder how long it will take before the "new" rules are in court again. Well, maybe with the free time their staffers have between the publishing of the rules and the next court mandated rewrite they could rewrite the just issued truck driver training rules to require new drivers actually be taught How to drive a truck.