In order to improve safety on America’s roadways, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a notice of suggested changes to hours of service by revising the current regulations for commercial motor vehicle drivers.
As a matter of fact, the proposal seeks to increase safety by giving the nation’s commercial drivers more flexibility while upholding the safety limits on driving time.
Furthermore, FMCSA encourages all those impacted by the proposal to share their thoughts and concerns on the recommended changes.
Moreover, FMCSA’s hours of service rules were first established in 1937. However, in 2018, FMCSA penned an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking so that public comments could be considered.
As a result, FMCSA came up with five key revisions to the existing hours of service rule:
- Improve safety and flexibility for the 30-minute break statute by binding the break constraint to eight hours of driving without an interruption for at least 30 minutes, and letting the break be fulfilled by a driver using on duty, not driving status, instead of off duty.
- Allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into one period of at least seven uninterrupted hours in the sleeper berth and the other period of not less than two sequential hours, either off duty or in the sleeper berth. However, this would not affect the driver’s 14‑hour driving window.
- Permit at least one 30 minute off-duty break, but not more than three hours, that would stop a truck driver’s 14-hour driving window, provided the driver takes 10 consecutive off-duty hours at the end of the work shift.
- Revise the adverse driving conditions exception by a two-hour maximum window extension during which driving is permissible.
- Extend the maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours for short-haul driving and increase the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 to 150 air miles.
Not to mention, FMCSA’s proposed rule on hours of service rules is projected to save $274 million for the nation’s economy and American consumers.