Aug 19, 2019DOT proposes changes to Hours of Service regulation for truckers
The Washington State Potato Commission and the National Potato Council have been stressing the importance to create common sense flexibility to the current Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a notice of proposed rule making on changes to HOS rules to increase safety on U.S. roadways by updating existing regulations for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. Based on the detailed public comments, FMCSA’s proposed rule on hours of service offers five key revisions to the existing HOS rules:
- The Agency proposes to increase safety and flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by tying the break requirement to eight hours of driving time without an interruption for at least 30 minutes, and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not-driving status, rather than off duty.
- The Agency proposes to modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: one period of at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and the other period of not less than two consecutive hours, either off duty or in the sleeper berth. Neither period would count against the driver’s 14-hour driving window.
- The Agency proposes to allow one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than three hours, that would pause a truck driver’s 14-hour driving window, provided the driver takes 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of the work shift.
- The Agency proposes to modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
- The Agency proposes a change to the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on-duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.
— Washington State Potato Commission