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FMCSA Revising Current Hours of Service Regulations

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FMCSA Revising Current Hours of Service Regulations

October 10, 2018

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FMCSA Revising Current Hours of Service Regulations.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Seeks Public Comment on Revising Current Hours-of-Service Regulations for Interstate Truck Drivers.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it is seeking public comment on revising four specific areas of current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, which limit the operating hours of commercial truck drivers.

The upcoming Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), which will be published in the Federal Register, responds to widespread Congressional, industry, and citizen concerns and seeks feedback from the public to determine if HOS revisions may alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers while maintaining safety on our nation’s highways and roads. The comment period will be open for 30 days.

The four specific areas under consideration for revision are:

Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers.
Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions.
Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8-hours of continuous driving and
Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.

In addition, the ANPRM seeks public comment and relevant data on two recently submitted petitions requesting regulatory relief from HOS rules (1) pertaining to the 14-hour on-duty limitation (filed by the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association) and (2) pertaining to the 10-hour off-duty requirement (filed by TruckerNation).

Earlier this year, the congressionally mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule, which required most FMCSA-regulated motor carriers to convert their records from paper to an electronic format, became effective. While compliance with the ELD rule has reached nearly 99 percent across the trucking industry, it has also brought focus to HOS regulations, especially with regard to certain regulations having a significant impact on agriculture and other sectors of trucking.

The following table summarizes the HOS regulations for property-carrying and passenger-carrying drivers.

HOURS-OF-SERVICE RULES.

PROPERTY CARRYING DRIVERS:

11-Hour Driving Limit
May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.

14-Hour Limit
May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.

Rest Breaks
May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver’s last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes. Does not apply to drivers using either of the short-haul exceptions in 395.1(e). [49 CFR 397.5 mandatory “in attendance” time may be included in break if no other duties performed.

60/70-Hour Limit
May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.

Sleeper Berth Provision
Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.

PASSENGER CARRYING DRIVERS:

10-Hour Driving Limit
May drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty.

15-Hour Limit
May not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.

60/70-Hour Limit
May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.

Sleeper Berth Provision
Drivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.

Information on current HOS regulations is available here.

Information on electronic logging devices (ELDs) carried on-board long-haul trucks and used by commercial vehicle enforcement officers to check compliance with HOS regulations is available here.

Updated: by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Tuesday, September 25, 2018

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