5 major DOT hours of service changes
In an effort to improve safety and provide more flexibility to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that proposes changes to the hours of service (HOS) rules.
In 2018, the FMCSA release an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on Hours of Service of Drivers and requested public comment on portions of the HOS rules to alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers.
The FMCSA proposed changes focus on the five areas below:
- 30-minute break requirement: Changes will allow drivers to satisfy the required break using on duty, not driving status, rather than off duty.
- Sleeper berth exception: Changes will allow drivers to split the required 10 hours off duty into two periods.
- One period must contain at least 7 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth.
- The other period cannot be less than 2 consecutive hours, either off duty or in the sleeper berth.
- Note: Neither period would count against the driver’s 14‑hour driving window
- 30-minute to 3-hour off-duty break: Changes will allow drivers one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes and no more than 3 hours, that pauses the driver’s 14-hour driving window
- Note: Driver must take 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of the work shift.
- Adverse driving conditions exception: Changes will extend the maximum window during which driving is permitted by two hours.
- Short-haul exception: Changes will lengthen the drivers’ maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extends the operating distance limit from 100 to 150 air miles.
The proposed rules are open for public comment and the FMCSA Administrator, Raymond Martinez, is encouraging all drivers and CMV stakeholders to submit thoughts and opinions on the hours of service changes within the 45-day timeframe they have allotted. There is potential for the comment period to be extended.
Pausing the 14-hour clock has been discussed since last 2018 and may now become a reality.
Stay DOT compliant
Knowing these Hours-of-Service rules and regulations will allow you to stay compliant and plan your operations more efficiently.
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