The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a final rule on Thursday, May 14 updating hours of service (HOS) rules to increase safety on America’s roadways by updating existing regulations for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers.
Based on the detailed public comments and input from the American people, FMCSA’s final rule on hours of service offers four key revisions to the existing HOS rules:
• The Agency will increase safety and flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by requiring a break after 8 hours of consecutive driving and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status, rather than off-duty status. Meaning a driver’s break could be satisfied by stopping to fuel the truck.
• The Agency will modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: an 8/2 split, or a 7/3 split—with neither period counting against the driver’s 14 hour driving window.
• The Agency will modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
• The Agency will change 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.
FMCSA’s rule modernizing hours of service regulations is estimated to provide nearly $274 million in annualized cost savings for the U.S. economy and American consumers. The trucking industry is a key component of the national economy, employing more than seven million people and moving 70 percent of the nation’s domestic freight.