Start of split sleeper berth pilot program behind schedule

From Transport Topics.

Federal trucking regulators have been angling for a flexible sleeper berth pilot program since 2010, but a request for public comment posted in the Federal Register in late October showed that plans for the program are behind schedule.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website said the pilot was supposed to begin in July 2017.

But with yet another round of public comments, due by Nov. 27, it’s more likely that the pilot would start sometime next spring or summer, said Sean Garney, director of safety policy for American Trucking Associations.

ATA has been pressing the agency for the pilot project since 2013.

Development of the pilot program already so far is expected to cost $2.6 million, according to the FMCSA website.

The agency declined comment for this story.

The pilot seeks to produce statistically reliable evidence on the question of whether split sleeper berth time affects driver safety performance and fatigue levels. The hope is that the pilot will confirm what the majority of sleep studies already have shown: Well-timed split sleep has either a positive or no effect on subsequent neurobehavioral performance.

Currently, drivers who use sleeper berths must divide their non-duty time with one eight-hour period and another two-hour period.

See full story from Transport Topics online.