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Notice of Request for Renewal of an Existing Information Collection; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, Driver's Record of Duty Status

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Trucking American Government

Notice of Request for Renewal of an Existing Information Collection; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, Driver's Record of Duty Status

George Moore
Federal Highway Administration
March 11, 1998

[Federal Register: March 11, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 47)]
[Page 11948-11949]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Federal Highway Administration
[Docket No. FHWA-98-3393]

Notice of Request for Renewal of an Existing Information 
Collection; Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, Driver's Record 
of Duty Status

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3051, 3506(c)(2)(A)), the FHWA is requesting public comment on 
its intent to ask the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to 
reapprove the soon to expire information collection that documents 
information on commercial motor vehicle drivers hours of service.

DATES: Submit on or before May 11, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Signed, written comments must refer to the docket number 
appearing at the top of this document and must be submitted to the 
Docket Clerk, U.S. DOT Dockets, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20590-0001. All comments received will be available for 
examination at the above address between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., e.t., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Those desiring 
notification of receipt of comments must include a self-addressed, 
stamped envelope or postcard.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Deborah M. Freund or Mr. David R. 
Miller, Office of Motor Carrier Research and Standards, (202) 366-4009, 
Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, 400 
Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 7:45 
a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal 


Electronic Availability

    Internet users may access all comments received by the U.S. DOT 
Dockets, Room PL-401, by using the universal resource locator (URL): 
http://dms.dot.gov. It is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each 
year. You may download an electronic copy of this document using a 
modem and suitable communications software from the Federal Register 
electronic bulletin board service (telephone number: 202-512-1661). 
Internet users may reach the Federal Register's home page at: http:/

[[Page 11949]]

 /www.nara.gov/nara/fedreg and the Government Printing Office's 
database at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/su----docs.
    Title: Driver's Record of Duty Status.
    OMB Number: 2125-0016.
    Background: For the last 60 years, the FHWA, and its predecessor, 
the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), have required motor carriers 
operating in interstate commerce to require their drivers to limit the 
driver's hours of service. This is to ensure the drivers do not operate 
CMVs while fatigued and possibly cause crashes. The principal method 
used to track the driver's hours of service has been to record the 
hours worked, driven, and at rest on paper Records of Duty Status, 
commonly known as log books. See 49 U.S.C. 31502 and 49 CFR part 395.
    The record shows how long a driver has been on duty and driving, 
and how long the driver has had rest in a sleeper berth and time off 
duty. This record helps motor carriers know how much longer the driver 
may legally operate vehicles before the law assumes the driver is 
fatigued, as determined by research done in the late 1930's and 
regulations adopted at that time. The motor carriers would then know 
when the drivers must stop driving to obtain rest. The regulations 
require drivers to show local law enforcement officials and Federal 
agents the driver's true and accurate record of the drivers' duty 
activities, to the closest 15 minutes, within each 24-hour period. This 
record also helps law enforcement officials determine whether the 
driver may likely be operating a motor vehicle while fatigued. See 49 
CFR 395.8.
    The ICC and the FHWA have general statutory authority to require 
such records. The records have never been expressly mandated by 
statute. In 1952, the ICC adopted rules to allow motor carriers to 
record some drivers' hours of service on time cards or time sheets in 
place of log books. This exception was available to drivers operating 
within a 50-mile radius of the driver's garage or terminal where the 
driver reports for work. See 49 CFR 395.1(e). This exception was made a 
separate information collection entitled ``Time Records'' and has been 
assigned OMB No. 2125-0196. Within the last 20 years, there was a 
change that allowed drivers/carriers to use their own forms rather than 
the format prescribed by the FHWA's predecessor motor carriers 
organization, the Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety. In 1980, the FHWA 
expanded the 50-mile radius to a 100 mile radius. In this same 
rulemaking, the FHWA began to require motor carriers to maintain and 
retain documents the carriers obtained or received, in the normal 
course of business, supporting the validity of the record of duty 
status. See 49 CFR 395.8(k)(2).
    In 1982, the FHWA reduced the retention period for the log book and 
the supporting documents from one year to 6 months. See 49 CFR 
395.8(k)(2). For the first 51 years, the ICC and later the FHWA only 
allowed motor carriers and drivers to prepare paper log books. In 1988, 
the FHWA adopted rules to allow motor carriers to choose to use 
automatic on-board recording devices in place of the paper log book. 
Again, this was done at the FHWA's discretion and not by an express 
mandate by statute. See 49 CFR 395.15.
    In 1994, new information collection requirements for records of 
duty status were mandated by section 113 of the Hazardous Materials 
Transportation Authorization Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-311, 108 Stat. 
1676). This statute requires each written or electronic document being 
used as a supporting document to include either the driver's name or 
vehicle number. This would require motor carriers to ensure the 
driver's name or vehicle number is also on each document used to verify 
driver record of duty status. The statute also requires the supporting 
document must be kept for at least six months. The FHWA has not yet 
published a proposal requiring the mandated information collection. The 
FHWA will publish an NPRM for the mandated information related to the 
driver's record of duty status documents, and will request a 
modification to this information collection at that time.
    In 1995, section 408 of the ICC Termination Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 
104-88, 109 Stat. 803, 958) required the FHWA to issue an ANPRM 
addressing the FHWA's current hours of service regulations. The FHWA 
published this ANPRM on November 5, 1996 (61 FR 57252). This rulemaking 
may substantially modify the information collection burdens contained 
in this information collection. The FHWA expects to publish an NPRM in 
this action (RIN 2125-AD93) in the winter, 1999.
    Respondents: Motor carriers and drivers.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden Per Record: 16,978,607 hours.
    The FHWA has separated this total into the following three 
    Records of Duty Status (Paper Log Books)--15,671,303 hours
    Automatic On-board Recording Devices--1,076,100 hours
    100 Air-mile Radius Drivers--The FHWA proposes to append the 100 
air-mile radius driver time record account, OMB No. 2125-0196, into the 
OMB No. 2125-0016 account. This would add an additional 231,204 hours. 
The computations on how the FHWA arrived at these numbers may be found 
in the docket.
    Interested parties are invited to send comments regarding any 
aspect of these information collections. The FHWA considers comments by 
the public on this proposed collection of information in the following 
four ways: (1) Evaluating whether the proposed collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the FHWA, including whether the information will have a practical use; 
(2) evaluating the accuracy of the FHWA's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used; (3) enhancing the quality, 
usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) 
minimizing the burden of collection of information on those who are to 
respond, including through the use of appropriate automated electronic, 
mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms 
of information technology (e.g., permitting electronic submission of 

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 31136, 31141, and 31502 and 49 CFR 1.48.
    Issued on: March 4, l998.
George Moore,
Associate Administrator for Administration.
[FR Doc. 98-6219 Filed 3-10-98; 8:45 am]

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