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Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Hours of Service Regulations released by FMCSA.

Updated: Mar 16, 2020

FMCSA proposed amendments to its hours-of-service (HOS) requirements to provide greater flexibility for drivers subject to HOS rules without adversely affecting safety.

The amendments to the HOS regulations that have been proposed are:

  1. The first change that has been proposed is to expand the 100 air-mile short-haul exemption by lengthening a drivers’ on-duty period from 12 hours to 14 hours. The 100 air-mile distance limit is also proposed to be expanded to 150 air miles.

  2. The agency has proposed extending the current 14 hour on-duty limit by a 2-hour window if a driver experiences adverse driving conditions.

  3. The current 30-minute mandatory break rule is being revised to increase flexibility for the truck driver by requiring the break after 8 hours of driving, instead of on-duty time. The break can be an on-duty break and will not be required as an off-duty break.

  4. The sleeper-berth exemption is being modified to allow drivers the option to split up their required 10-hour off duty rest break time into two periods: one of at least 7 consecutive hours in the sleeper-berth and the other period of not less than 2 consecutive hours in the sleeper-berth or off duty. These periods would not count against a driver's 14-hour driving window.

  5. Lastly, the agency has proposed to allow a driver one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but no more than 3 hours, during the driver's 14-hour on-duty period, provided that the driver takes 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of their shift.

The FMCSA has delayed publication of the proposed amendments to the hours of service regulations as they move through the rule making process. A final deadline has not been released yet.

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