Transportation Trucking Federal agencies Hours of service

FMCSA extends comment period for proposed changes to trucker hours-of-service rules

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Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is extending to Oct. 10 the comment period for an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on its hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers.

As outlined in a 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 30-minute mandatory 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.

The agency also is requesting input on separate petitions seeking 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).

Citing feedback from several industry stakeholder groups, FMCSA announced the comment extension in the Sept. 20 Federal Register. The original comment period was slated to end Sept. 24.

The agency will conduct a public listening session on the ANPRM on Sept. 22 at the National Automobile Museum in Reno, NV. FMCSA hosted a previous listening session on Aug. 24 in Dallas. A session scheduled for Sept. 14 in Washington was postponed because of Hurricane Florence.

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