WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is considering the establishment of a 10-hour driving limit for long-haul truckers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Administration said Thursday it favors reducing the current 11-hour limit by an hour. But the agency is accepting comments on whether to change the rule, signaling it may not be completely behind the idea.

The Obama administration has been considering whether to rewrite rules passed in the waning hours of the Bush administration that allowed commercial truckers to drive 11 consecutive hours before resting. That changed a six-decade standard for truckers.

The administration is “leaning” toward the change, said Henry Jasny, general counsel with Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. “They didn’t say they are going to do it.”

Administration officials have been looking at changes since an October 2009 agreement with safety and labor groups who, in return, shelved a lawsuit over the rules. Groups have specifically sought the 10-hour limit in the proposed rules.

The Bush administration also cut rest and recovery time at the end of a workweek to as little as 34 hours off duty, from the previous guideline of 50 hours.

Safety groups want a 48-hour rest period. But the Obama administration wants to continue the 34-hour off-duty rule while requiring drivers to have two nights of sleep before restarting the clock on a workweek that could reach 60 hours of driving.

The administration also wants to limit the maximum daily time on duty to 13 hours instead of 14, allowing for a one-hour break.

“We are committed to an hours-of-service rule that will help create an environment where commercial truck drivers are rested, alert and focused on safety while on the job,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.

Dave Osiecki, a senior vice president at the American Trucking Associations, said it was strange that the Obama administration was hesitating on the 10-hour rule. He said industry opposes changes to the rules.