Transportation Trucking Federal agencies Hours of service

FMCSA delays publication of proposed rule to amend trucker hours-of-service regs

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Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has delayed until further notice the publication of a proposed rule intended to add flexibility to hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers.

A Department of Transportation regulatory update released in May had indicated June 7 as the target publication date for the proposed rule, which was submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget on March 28. An FMCSA spokesperson confirmed in an email to Safety+Health that the proposed rule remains under OMB review.

“The timelines in the department’s regulatory updates serve as goals for the agency and are reflective of FMCSA’s plan to move quickly during this rulemaking process,” the spokesperson wrote. “The agency is hopeful the rule will be published soon.”

FMCSA received more than 5,200 comments on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Aug. 23 Federal Register. Potential changes to HOS regulations included:

  • 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.
 

Additionally, FMCSA weighed input on separate petitions requesting the agency 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).
  • 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).

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