According to a notice published in the Federal Register on March 8, R.J. Corman Railroad Services, Cranemasters Inc. and the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association requested a five-year HOS exemption regarding driving time for drivers of ‘property-carrying vehicles.’
If granted, the exemption would apply to all railroad employees that are affected by the HOS rules and who are responsible for responding to unplanned events that occur beyond normal work hours.
The applicants state in the Federal Register notice that majority of unplanned events occur outside of normal business hours which makes it difficult to contact government officials that are supposed to declare emergency HOS exemptions.
“A large number between midnight and 7:00, making it virtually impossible for the railroads to contact an official to request an emergency declaration before they request a contractor to respond to the unplanned event, and companies likely would not know if such an emergency declaration had been made before they respond to a call from a railroad,” the applicants state in the Federal Register notice.
In regards to safety concerns, the companies attest they will maintain an equal or greater level of safety through measures such as ‘convoys of escort vehicles in the front and rear of responding trucks and training for drivers to recognize fatigue.’
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