Off-Duty Driving: FMCSA Denies Personal Conveyance Mileage Clarification

Off-Duty Driving: Personal Conveyance

In May 2020, following the announced proposed Hours of Service rule changes, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) petitioned to update the definition of personal conveyance and include a mileage limit.

CVSA feared the current rules could have a driver travel hundreds of miles over several hours designated as personal conveyance.

In Sept, FMCSA denied the petition, saying CVSA’s proposal did not provide a “sufficient safety basis” to initiate a rulemaking. Furthermore, it was unable to estimate the extent to which drivers may be circumventing the hours-of-service requirements by claiming personal conveyance status.

The FMCSA believes the 2018 regulatory guidance is appropriate, which allowed drivers to enter into personal conveyance status–whether the truck is loaded or not–to find the nearest safe parking or rest location after their hours of service are exhausted by a shipper/receiver or off-duty periods are interrupted by law enforcement.

“The movement from a shipper or receiver to the nearest safe resting area may be identified as personal conveyance,” according to a notice from FMCSA, “regardless of whether the driver exhausted his or her hours of service, as long as the CMV is being moved solely to enable the driver to obtain the required rest at a safe location.”

The FMCSA recognized that “the driver may not be aware of the direction of the next dispatch and that in some instances the nearest safe resting location may be in the direction of that dispatch. If the driver proceeds to the nearest ‘reasonable and safe location’ and takes the required rest, this would qualify as personal conveyance.”

It is important to note that it is up to the carrier whether they allow drivers to use personal conveyance in their company policy.

Some personal conveyance tips: 

  • Driver must be off duty for it to be personal conveyance
  • CMV can be loaded or empty during personal conveyance
  • Personal conveyance does not affect the driver’s on-duty time
  • A move when the driver is parked and off duty can be personal conveyance
  • The driver does not have to return to the last on-duty location after a personal conveyance
  • Drivers should annotate on the drivers log if they cannot park at the nearest location and must proceed to another location.

Keep up with current Hours-of-Services Rules and Regulations

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