May 10 2018
Miss. Senator Discusses Drivers’ Concerns with New Administrator of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today met with Ray Martinez, the new administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), to discuss possible changes to federal rules requiring the electronic logging of truckers’ hours of service.
“The current one-size-fits-all federal approach to the hours of service requirements for truckers is just not working for many of Mississippi’s truck drivers,” Wicker said. “Today, Administrator Martinez and I discussed how his agency could provide flexibility to truckers, while still maintaining important driver safety protections for the public.”
Wicker and Martinez discussed the need for the FMCSA to provide regulatory relief to certain truckers who carry time-sensitive cargo like ready-mix concrete or livestock. Current federal regulations require drivers to pull over for a mandatory 10-hour break after 14 hours of service.
Wicker has heard from several independent owners and operators of small trucking companies in Mississippi that the regulations do not make accommodations for drivers who take breaks in the middle of their drives, or for when drivers stop to pick up and drop off loads.
The FMCSA is currently considering several proposals to address drivers’ concerns, including new flexibility for drivers to manage sleeping hours, an exemption for 30-minute rest breaks, and other targeted fixes to help drivers manage fatigue and guarantee roadway safety.
Administrator Martinez told Wicker his agency would be issuing additional guidance on fixes for personal conveyances and agricultural product and livestock carriers in the coming weeks.