LITTLE ROCK (TB&P) — Trade organizations in the trucking industry praised the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for looking to change to the hours of service rule as a means to improve highway safety and flexibility for drivers.
The federal agency published Wednesday (Aug. 14) proposed changes to the rule after receiving more than 5,200 public comments to revise it.
In 2018, the federal agency sought public comment after issuing a notice it would look to change the rule.
The public will have 45 days to submit comments on the proposed changes.
Following are the key proposed changes:
- Modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10-hours of off-duty time into two periods. One period must include at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, and the other period of not less than two consecutive hours must be either off duty or in the sleeper berth. The two periods would not count against the driver’s 14-hour driving window.
- Tie the 30-minute break requirement to eight hours of driving time and to allow the break to be taken while a driver is on duty but not driving as opposed to off duty
- Allow one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes but not more than three hours that would pause the driver’s 14-hour driving window.
- Extend by two hours the time a driver is allowed to drive as part of the adverse driving conditions exception
- Change the short-haul exception to increase drivers’ on-duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extend the distance limit a driver can drive from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.
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