The department will examine how delays at ports and other loading and unloading facilities may be affecting drivers’ ability to operate with hours-of-service rules mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) said in a statement.
Current FMCSA regulations limit the number of hours a driver can work per day to 14 hours, but unforeseen delays can result in lost time and wages for drivers. As a result, truckers who experience these delays might drive faster to make deliveries within hours-of-service limits or operate beyond these limits and improperly log their driving time, which increases the risk of crashes and fatalities, said Barry J. DeWeese, assistant inspector general for surface transportation audits.
The FMCSA, a DOT sub-agency that oversees commercial trucking, freight forwarders, freight brokers, and bus operators, is required by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015 to issue regulations on collecting data on loading and unloading delays.
Enacted last December, the five-year $305 billion FAST Act was the first major highway infrastructure legislation signed into law in a decade, ending a series of patchwork funding extensions since 2009 and providing states with the financial certainty to invest in larger, multi-year projects.