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Heating Oil Deliveries Granted HOS Leeway

A PILOT program to grant exemption from the weekly hours-of-service restrictions for certain home heating oil deliveries has been announced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The program applies to deliveries within a 100-air-mile radius of a central terminal or distribution point during the winter months.

FMCSA also will allow states to grant temporary exemptions from the weekly restrictions for the purpose of enabling intrastate motor carriers conducting such operations to do so under the terms and conditions identical to those used in the FMCSA's pilot program.

The intrastate carriers will be required by the states in which they operate to report certain accident data to FMCSA so that the agency can monitor their safety performance, combine the intrastate data with the interstate data, and analyze the results.

Under the current regulations, drivers operating in interstate commerce may not drive after being on duty 60 hours in any seven consecutive days if the motor carrier does not operate commercial motor vehicles every day of the week (60-hour-rule), or after being on duty 70 hours in any eight consecutive days if the motor carrier operates those vehicles every day of the week (70-hour-rule).

During the pilot program, participating motor carriers will be allowed to “restart” calculations for the 60- or 70-hour rule, whichever is applicable, after the driver has an off-duty period encompassing two consecutive nights off-duty that include the period of midnight to 6 a.m.

This action is in response to a request from the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA). The exemption preempts inconsistent state and local requirements applicable to interstate commerce.

The pilot program began July 13, 2001. The exemption covers the period between November 1 and April 30 for three consecutive heating seasons, the first of which begins on November 1, 2001.

Home heating oil transporters (both interstate and intrastate) interested in participating in the pilot program should submit written, signed requests, containing the information required by this notice to: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations (MC-PSD) — Home Heating Oil Program, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington DC 20590-0001.

For more information, contact Larry W Minor, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, (202) 366-4009, or Charles E Medalen, Office of the Chief Counsel, MC-CC, (202) 366-1354, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington DC 20590-0001. Office hours are 7:45 am to 4:15 pm, Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

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