[Federal Register: August 15, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 158)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
49 CFR Parts 350, 390, 394, 395, and 398
[Docket No. FMCSA-97-2350]
Hours of Service of Drivers; Driver Rest and Sleep for Safe
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Proposed rule; roundtable meetings and extension of comment
SUMMARY: The FMCSA announces it is holding three public roundtables,
each focusing on specific topics identified in the comment process on
the proposed revisions to its hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. The
format for the roundtables is two-day sessions designed to elicit in-
depth discussion and exchange of supporting data. The FMCSA will invite
representatives of stakeholders in the HOS rulemaking and other
partners to sit at the roundtable. The public also is invited to attend
and participate. The FMCSA considers the roundtable process as the next
important step in gathering useful comment on its HOS proposal. A
transcript of each roundtable will be placed in the rulemaking docket.
To allow the public to review the transcripts, the public comment
period for the rulemaking is extended until December 15, 2000.
DATES: The roundtables will be held on September 25-26; September 28-
29, and October 5-6. They will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 5 p.m.
Comments must be submitted no later than December 15, 2000.
ADDRESSES: The first roundtable will be held at the National 4-H
Center, Chevy Chase, MD, and the others at the Marriott Wardman Park
Hotel, Washington, DC. Comments should refer to the docket number at
the top of this document and must be submitted to the Docket Clerk,
U.S. DOT Dockets, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC
20590-0001. Written comments may also be submitted electronically by
using the submission form at http://dmes.dot.gov/submit/BlankDSS.asp.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions about the roundtable
process, contact Mr. Stanley Hamilton, (202) 366-0665.
You can access this document and all comments received on Docket
No. FMCSA-97-2350 by using the universal resource locator (URL): http:/
/dms.dot.gov. It is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year.
Please follow the instructions online for more information and help.
You also can find this document at the FMCSA's Motor Carrier Regulatory
Information Service (MCREGIS) web site for notices at http://
If you need special accommodations, such as sign language
interpretation, please contact Mr. Hamilton at least one week before
the roundtable you are attending.
Structure of the Roundtable Dialogues
On April 24, 2000, the FMCSA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking
(NPRM) to revise the HOS regulations (65 FR 25540, May 2, 2000). The
preamble to the NPRM includes a comprehensive discussion of the
history, background, and research leading to the current proposal.
Between May 30 and July 7, eight public hearings were held at seven
locations across the country. The format of these hearings was similar
to those for most other ``notice and comment'' rulemakings: an open
forum in which presiding federal officials heard oral presentations on
the widest range of issues addressed in the NPRM from parties directly
and indirectly affected by the proposal, including the general public.
At the same time, over 40,000 comments have reached the public docket
and are available on the internet for all interested persons to review.
When he announced the issuance of the NPRM, Secretary of
Transportation Rodney E. Slater stressed that it was a proposal and
that the FMCSA was actively seeking substantive public comment on the
provisions. Because the issues involved in the HOS proposal are complex
and contentious, the FMCSA wants to continue this process of public
involvement and further enhance the quality of information it can
derive from the comment period. However, the usual format of public
hearings does not often allow decision makers to hear various
viewpoints expressed in a detailed, substantive manner within the same
proceeding or in dialogue with other, conflicting views. Accordingly,
the FMCSA has designed a roundtable format to permit additional
discussion among different stakeholders and agency representatives on a
set of critical issues. The roundtables will continue and expand the
FMCSA's commitment to fully explore all issues and concerns of
stakeholders and the public through on-going dialogue.
Each of the three public roundtables is dedicated to specific
agenda issues. These were determined by the FMCSA, based on the
comments received to date, to be the critical issues that require
further discussion and exchange of supporting documentation among all
interested parties. The FMCSA expects that the dialogues at the
roundtables will develop information useful as it continues the
For each roundtable, a different roster of commenters and
organizations that have provided important insight on the significant
issues selected for that roundtable will be invited to form the
roundtable. Each will be limited to no more than 22 members to
encourage an interactive exchange of ideas and, most importantly, data
on the issues under discussion. Organizations selected as participants
are encouraged to designate individuals who will be able to explain the
basis for their positions, provide the supporting rationale and
documentation, and engage in a substantive exchange in responding to
differing viewpoints. Because the roundtable format stresses
presentation and exchange of data and documentation supporting
particular positions on the issue, the roundtables are scheduled for
Washington, DC, where many of the participants are located.
A moderator will open each roundtable and maintain a useful
dialogue. The intent is to foster
discussion among stakeholders and the public; the roundtables are not
for the purpose of forming consensus on any issues. Members of the
public are invited to attend and will have the opportunity to add to
each dialogue. Each roundtable will have different members, and no
organizations or individuals will be invited to more than one
The goals of the FMCSA in holding the roundtables are to continue
meaningful public involvement in the rulemaking process and further
enhance the agency's understanding of the data and analysis supporting
the various positions expressed on the issues involved in the NPRM.
Roundtable Assignments--Agenda Issues
Roundtable I Agenda Items
--Economic impacts of revising the current HOS rules;
Roundtable II Agenda Items
--Sleeper Berth requirements;
--Communications during rest periods;
--End of work-week rest periods;
--Hours of work permitted each day.
Roundtable III Agenda Items
--Categories of carrier operations;
--Electronic on-board recorder (EOBR) requirements;
Participants to be Invited
The FMCSA will invite participants to the roundtables from
organizations and groups, such as:
AAA, Advocates for Auto and Highway Safety, Amalgamated Transit Union,
American Bakers Association, American Bus Association, American
Insurance Association, American Moving & Storage Association, American
Road and Transportation Builders Association, American Trucking
Associations, Associated General Contractors of America
Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, Citizens for Reliable and Safe
Highways, Commercial vehicle drivers, Commercial Vehicle Safety
Alliance, Home heating oil representative, Insurance Institute for
Highway Safety, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Motor Freight
Carriers Association, National Association of Governors' Highway Safety
Representatives, National Industrial Transportation League
National Private Truck Council, National Ready Mixed Concrete
Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, National
Sleep Foundation, National Safety Council, National Tank Truck
Carriers, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Parents
Against Tired Truckers, Petroleum Marketers Association of America
Small trucking company representatives, Snack Food Association,
Transportation Trades Division, AFL-CIO, Truckload Carriers
Association, United Motorcoach Association, VDO North America
Public participation may be limited, based on the time constraints
that result from a particular roundtable discussion.
Extension of the Public Comment Period
In order to allow the general public a further opportunity to
participate in and comment on the roundtable dialogues, the comment
period for the rulemaking has been extended until December 15, 2000.
Detailed instructions for filing comments are provided in the NPRM.
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 31502, and 31136; and 49 CFR 1.73.
Issued on: August 9, 2000.
Clyde J. Hart, Jr.,
Acting Deputy Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety
[FR Doc. 00-20610 Filed 8-14-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-22-D