January 16, 2012 | Issue #114

FMCSA Holds Motorcoach HOS Listening Session At Marketplace

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A panel of representatives from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) held two listening sessions at Marketplace 2012 to gather information, concepts and ideas from the motorcoach industry relating to hours-of-service (HOS) requirements for drivers of passenger-carrying vehicles.

FMCSA held the session as part of its research for a new HOS rule for motorcoach drivers, which the agency will craft over the next year.

Over 120 people attended the session in person, including representatives of operators from around the country and members of the ABA staff.

The operators in attendance had a unified message for FMCSA: remember our industry's diversity and increase enforcement.

"In our industry, not only do you have big and small companies. But you have line run, charter and tour, commuter shuttle airport shuttle and special events," said ABA Board member and Capitol Bus Lines. "You're trying to come up with one rule that will fit us all, and that's a daunting task."

Clyde Hart, ABA's Senior Vice President for Government Affairs and Policy, was one of the many speakers who reminded the panel that changes to HOS regulations will have little impact if they fail to increase enforcement of those regulations on illegal and unsafe operators.

"One other issue that ABA believes FMCSA must examine is the need to enforce present FMCSA hours of service regulations on motorcoach operations and operators," Hart said. " ABA's analysis of the last two decades of fatal motorcoach crashes has revealed that more than fifty percent of all fatalities involved unsafe or illegal motorcoach operators."

Click here to view the listening sessions in their entirety