Congress Considering Allowing Drivers to Pause the 14-hour Clock Up to 3 Hours

A bill filed in the U.S. House Thursday by Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) would allow drivers to take one break per day — up to three hours — that does not count against their 14-hour on-duty time, set forth by the hours-of-service limitations. The Responsible and Effective Standards for Truckers Act (REST Act) would still require drivers to log 10 consecutive off-duty hours before beginning their 14-hour on-duty period. The bill mirrors a petition filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which calls for an option for drivers to pause their daily 14-hour clock up to three hours, and the removal of the required 30-minute break.

Last March, FMCSA removed the requirement that drivers’ 34-hour restarts include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods, which is a core component of an hours of service overhaul instituted back in July 2013. The mandatory 30-minute break was also added then. The 30-minute break remains in place, despite other portions of the rule being gradually removed by Congress.