The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) proposed changes to the hours-of-service (HOS) rules have been published to the Federal Register, about a week after they were made public.
Publication means industry stakeholders have 45 days — until October 7, 2019 — to provide commentary on the five proposed changes. Comments can be submitted to the federal eRulemaking portal at Docket Number FMCSA-2018-0248.
When the comment period closes, FMCSA will consider the latest comments before issuing a final rule. FMCSA previously hoped to finalize the rules before the December 16, 2019, electronic logging device (ELD) deadline, but the process is likely to take much longer.
The five proposed changes from FMCSA are:
- Changing the short-haul exception for certain commercial motor vehicle drivers from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.
- Extending the adverse driving conditions exception by two hours.
- Requires a minimum 30-minute break before eight consecutive hours of driving time occurs. The break would be for at least 30 minutes and could be satisfied with on-duty, not driving time, or off-duty time, rather than just off-duty time.
- Modifying the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off-duty time into two periods of at least seven consecutive hours in one period and not less than two consecutive hours either off-duty or in the sleeper berth.
- Allowing one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than three hours, that would pause a truck driver’s 14-hour driving window, provided the driver takes 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of the work shift.
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