The US government has agreed to revise the rules for trucker working hour standards, which could result in a significant reduction of time spent behind the wheel.

This decision comes after the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration agreed to stop supporting the controversial proposal of 11 consecutive hours issued in 2003.

The 11-hour proposal, issued by the previous government, includes a cut in off-duty rest and recovery time for truck drivers to just 34 hours at the end of the week.

The proposal has been opposed by consumer group Public Citizen, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Truck Safety Coalition and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, on the grounds that increased hours could lead to more traffic fatalities and serious consequences for driver health.

The government will now draft a new proposed rule governing hours of service within nine months and publish a final rule within 21 months.