Transportation Trucking Federal agencies Hours of service

FMCSA seeking input on proposed changes to trucker hours-of-service rules

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Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is asking for comment on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on its hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers.

According to the notice published in the Aug. 23 Federal Register, FMCSA is considering the following revisions:

  • Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption to 14 hours on duty from 12 hours on duty, to be consistent with rules for long-haul truck drivers.
  • Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions.
  • Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after eight hours of continuous driving.
  • Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks equipped with sleeper berth compartments.

Further, the agency is asking for input on separate petitions requesting relief from HOS rules:

  • To allow covered commercial motor vehicle operators one rest break – for up to three consecutive hours – during every 14-hour on-duty period (filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association).
  • To allow covered CMV operators to use multiple off-duty periods of at least three hours in place of taking 10 consecutive hours off duty (filed by TruckerNation.org).

OOIDA applauded FMCSA’s actions.

“The agency is finally listening, and now the door is open for truckers to make their voices heard and to spur real, commonsense changes to the hours-of-service regulations,” OOIDA President and CEO Todd Spencer said in an article published Aug. 21 in OOIDA’s Land Line magazine.

FMCSA will conduct a public listening session on the ANPRM on Aug. 24 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. The agency will announce the times, dates and locations of other public listening sessions in subsequent notices, FMCSA states.

The deadline to comment is Sept. 24.

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