Hours of Service Rule Changes and the Issue of Fatigue Management

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1 Hours of Service

2 Hours of Service Hours of Service Rule Changes and the Issue of Fatigue Management Timeline Surrounding the Federal Motor Carrier s Safety Administration s (FMCSA) Proposed Hours of Service (HOS) Rule Change: Oct. 2009: The FMCSA agrees to an out-of-court settlement with Public Citizen to end litigation over a challenge to the current HOS rule. Jan. 2010: The FMCSA posts request for public comment. Jan. 12, 2010: Anne Ferro, FMCSA Administrator says that the agency has an opportunity to finally get the HOS rule right. Implied is that the current rule isn t right. Therefore, it is expected that the FMCSA will propose a substantive change to the rules, not a reaffirmation of the current rule. Jan , 2010: The DOT conducted listening sessions. July 2010: The DOT plans to send proposed rule to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by July 2010 (OMB has 90 days to review). Oct. 2010: The DOT will post a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) to the federal register. Following a brief public comment period, a final rule will be published. Dec. 2010: The NPRM issued in the Federal Register (industry has 60 days to comment). May 2011: The FMCSA introduces four additional studies into the docket and extends the comment period until June 9th. Oct Highway safety advocates and the Teamsters union wrote to President Obama asking him to expeditiously more forward on the new hours of service rule proposed by the FMCSA. At the same time Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives asked President Obama to withdraw the administration s proposed changes to the hours-of-service rules for commercial drivers. Dec. 21, 2011 The FMCSA publishes the final rule. Highlights include retention of the 11th hour of driving; requiring a thirty minute break in the first eight hours of work; and limiting the 34 hour restart to once per week and requiring two anchor rest periods between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

3 Changes PROVISION CURRENT RULE NEW RULE NOTES Daily Duty Period Off-duty period 10 consecutive hours No change Driving Window Max. on-duty within driving window Max. driving within driving window Limit on consecutive hours of driving Max. on-duty hours Restart Limits on Restarts For most drivers, 14 consecutive hours (may continue on-duty/not driving after 14 hours) Regional allowed one 16-hour period weekly but release from duty required after 16 hours Normally 14 hours; 16 hours once per week for regional drivers; 16 hours twice per week for non-cdl within 150 miles. For all property-carrying CMV drivers (unless excepted): 14 consecutive hours with release from duty required at end of driving window 13 1/2 hours 11 hours 11 hours At least a 30-minute break None in the driver s first 8 hours of duty WEEKLY Duty Period 60 hours in 7 days/ 70 No change hours in 8 days 34 consecutive hours, only 34 consecutive hours once per week 1. Must include two anchor sleep periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. None 2. May only be used once per week. Any on-duty time after 14th hour constitutes use of a 16-hour period Proposal not applicable to non-cdl 150 mile short-haul drivers. 13 hours during 14- or 16-hour driving windows for others. Proposal not applicable to non-cdl 150 mile shorthaul drivers Driver must designate the period being used as a restart

4 The Real Problem and the Real Issue: HOS Compliance and Fatigue Management The problem is not the current HOS rules themselves; but a lack of compliance with the rule as an approach to fatigue management. Studies assume that all commercial truck drivers are HOS-compliant. This is a fundamentally false assumption, and one that makes it difficult to assess the real effectiveness of the current rule. Schneider recommends retaining the current HOS rules and mandating electronic logging. Electronic On-Board Recorders (EOBRs) will drive both compliance and allow for an accurate assessment of the current HOS rule. Today s HOS rules are the foundation for a comprehensive fatigue management program. We find it odd that the FMCSA continues to state its objective is to reduce fatigue-related large truck crashes yet the group has taken no action to date on a January 2008 recommendation by their own medical review board regarding sleep disorder screening for commercial drivers. The facts regarding sleep disorders speak for themselves. Dr. Alan Pack (Penn State University) estimated that up to 28 percent of all drivers have some type of sleep disorder. In fact, Schneider s own testing program has diagnosed 17 percent of its drivers with a sleep disorder and/or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Undiagnosed and untreated OSA is a much greater public safety concern than the HOS rules. This is the reason Schneider has had a comprehensive sleep apnea screening and treatment program for all drivers since Schneider s Position We do not believe any rules change is warranted without fully understanding compliance with the rules. If adhered to, the current rule has proven to be effective and safe. The problem is the rule is not always followed. An appropriate first step for the FMCSA would be to mandate the use of EOBRs for all carriers. Schneider implemented EOBRs throughout its fleet in 2010 and we encourage all carriers to do so. Once the HOS compliance issues are taken off the table, we will be able to assess whether further HOS rules changes are truly necessary. The current rules are rooted in science, recognizing the effects of circadian rhythm (biological rhythms that influence when, how much and how well people sleep) and are based on a 24-hour clock. The rule enables a predictable and consistent work/rest pattern for commercial drivers and safety performance has improved dramatically under the current rule for Schneider and the industry.

5 A Steadfast Commitment to Safety Schneider has operated by its #1 core value Safety first and always for over 76 years and has long been a steward of public safety. Nothing we do is worth hurting ourselves or others. With that in mind, we believe any changes to the current HOS rule must be science-based and proven to improve public safety. Current assessments and data simply do not lead us to that conclusion. While safety is the principle focus of the HOS rule, productivity and costs associated with a change must also be contemplated. Schneider recognizes that changing the current rule will again impact driver productivity and be both onerous and expensive. Re-engineering existing routes, updating and testing dispatch software, renegotiating prices and contracts with customers, retraining the fleet and driver compensation all need to be addressed when the HOS rules change. These activities cost millions of dollars and cannot be absorbed by carriers alone; the shipping community will bear additional costs in the form of increased rates and decreased productivity. These dollars could be much better spent on other safety technologies or comprehensive fatigue management programs that benefit and improve public safety for drivers, carriers, shippers and the motoring public. It is unfortunate that the real issue is not being addressed.

6 Frequently Asked HOS Questions: Q. Would mandatory short rest periods during the work day improve driver alertness? A: Circadian rhythms are biological rhythms that include the internal clock, which influences when, how much, and how well people sleep. Breaks would need to coincide with the circadian lows (mid afternoon). We recommend that they be encouraged through education programs that focus on the circadian rhythm versus mandated. Q: If rest or other breaks from driving improve alertness, and a driver who chooses to take specified minimum breaks, could that driver be given scheduling flexibility (borrow time from another day)? A: This would have little to no impact on irregular route carriers, because at the end of the week, the 70-hour cycle remains intact. This could be potentially significant for short haul carriers, enabling them to return to their home terminal if slowed by weather or congestion. We like the consistency that the current HOS rule provides. This alleviates confusion and drives consistency from day-to-day. Q: Would an HOS rule that allows drivers to drive an hour less when driving overnight improve safety? What are the adverse consequences? A: Probably, but the unintended consequences will be additional congestion during the day time. The risk of red-hour driving (midnight to 5:00 a.m.) is offset by reduced exposure at night. Q: Is a 34-hour off-duty period long enough to provide restorative sleep? A: 34 hours provides up to two anchor periods of sleep. The problem with extending that rest period is that irregular route drivers are not always home when taking the restart. Thus, any extension to the restart puts the driver at a truck stop trying to relax, which doesn t work well. Our analysis shows that when drivers use the 34-hour reset at home, the normal duration of their break is 48 hours, allowing for two anchor sleep periods, which is sufficient to overcome any accumulated sleep debt. Q: How is the current restart provision being used by drivers? A: Our studies show that drivers typically take significantly more than 34 hours off when at home, but only 34 hours when breaking over the road.

7 Q: If sleeper berth time were split into two periods, what is the minimum time in each period necessary to provide restorative sleep? A: If reconsidering the 8/2 split, 8 hours is adequate to provide the opportunity for restorative sleep. However, 2 hours as a nap is too long, Sleep experts agree that healthy naps are generally between minutes in duration or ~90 minutes (one complete sleep cycle). If a driver naps for longer than 30 minutes, but less than 90 minutes, the effects of sleep inertia set in, causing a groggy feeling after the driver awakens. Q: Could the 14-hour on-duty limitation be extended by the amount of some additional sleeper berth time? A: We did not endorse split breaking, even if it was allowed. We do not support lengthening a driver s work day. Q: Are there aspects of the current rule that do not increase safety risks or adversely impact driver health that should be preserved? A: The rule in general is a good rule, and has enabled the safety improvement we expected. From 2003 to 2010 significant improvements have been made in the following areas: Preventable crashes have decreased by 25 percent Fatigue-related crashes have decreased 33 percent The average potential severity of crashed has dropped 7.73 percent

8 3101 South Packerland Drive P.O. Box 2545 Green Bay, WI

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