Mark Schedler - Sr. DOT Editor - J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.
August 28 , 2019
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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) much-anticipated, proposed changes to the hours-of-service (HOS) rules is in response to industry stakeholders’ requests for more flexible hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. Based on the 5,200 comments received, 1,000 of which were from drivers, FMCSA proposed five revisions to the existing rules:
UPDATED 9/10/20: Learn more about the finalized FMCSA hours-of-service rules in our updated compliance brief.
Explanation: The 30-minute break would require either an off-duty or on-duty (not driving) period of at least 30 minutes to prevent more than eight consecutive hours of driving time without interruption.
Explanation: Modifying the sleeper-berth exception would allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods, with neither period counting against the driver’s 14-hour driving window. The two periods must still add up to 10 hours but would need to include:
Explanation: The rule would allow one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than three hours, that would pause a driver’s 14-hour clock. The driver must take ten consecutive hours off duty at the end of the work shift, so this could not be combined with the split-sleeper exception on a given day.
Explanation: The adverse driving conditions exception would extend the maximum driving window by two hours along with the 2 additional hours of driving that is currently permitted. Property-carrying drivers could drive up to 13 hours in a 16-consecutive hour window, and passenger-carrying drivers could drive up to 12 hours out of a total 17 on-duty hours.
Explanation: CDL vehicle drivers could work within a 150 air-mile radius and be allowed to return to the work location within 14-consecutive hours. There is no impact to non-CDL vehicle short-haul drivers.
Industry stakeholders may comment on the proposed rules for 45 days upon publication in the Federal Register. Following the comment period, FMCSA will again consider those comments before issuing a final rule. The compliance date of a final rule could be as far down the road as late 2020.
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