Citing its superior safety record, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) did not include the motorcoach industry in its revised hours-of-service rules made public Thursday.
"We are very pleased by the Department of Transportation's revised hours of service announcement, and its decision to keep existing hours-of-service regulations for the motorcoach industry," said American Bus Association President and CEO Peter J. Pantuso.
The revised hours-of-service rules were in large part designed to address a perceived fatigue problem in the trucking industry and, in previous rulemakings, considered trucks and buses to be the same.
Singling out the motorcoach industry at Thursday's meeting, FMCSA Administrator Annette Sandberg cited two reasons for not changing the hours-of-service rules for the industry, including the industry's safety record and the call from Congress in 2000 that any change in the hours of service for motorcoaches be preceded by research into bus operations, driver practices and driver fatigue issues.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has not completed the required research, and research conducted to date does not warrant any change in motorcoach hours-of-service.
"Motorcoaches are the safest form of commercial motor vehicle operations ... until DOT has science and data that supports it, they will not be making changes to these rules for the motorcoach industry," Sandberg said.