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FMCSA requests public comment on revising HOS regulations

Aug. 22, 2018
See what four areas of the current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations are being considered for revision by the FMCSA.

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is seeking public comment on revising four specific areas of current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, which limit the operating hours of commercial truck drivers.

An upcoming Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), which will be published in the Federal Register, responds to widespread Congressional, industry, and citizen concerns. It seeks feedback from the public to determine if HOS revisions may alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers while maintaining safety on the nation’s highways and roads. The comment period will be open for 30 days.

The four specific areas being considered for revision are:

•Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the 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 that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.

In addition, the ANPRM seeks public comment and relevant data on two recently submitted petitions requesting regulatory relief from HOS rules (1) pertaining to the 14-hour on-duty limitation (filed by the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association) and (2) pertaining to the 10-hour off-duty requirement (filed by TruckerNation).

Earlier in 2018, the congressionally mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule, which required most FMCSA-regulated motor carriers to convert their records from paper to an electronic format, became effective. While compliance with the ELD rule has reached nearly 99% across the trucking industry, it has also brought focus to HOS regulations, especially with regard to certain regulations having a significant impact on agriculture and other sectors of trucking.

Additional information on the ANPRM, including how to submit comments, is available here.

The first in a series of public listening sessions on the ANPRM will take place August 24, 2018, in Dallas TX at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center beginning at 3 pm local time. Click here for further information.

Information on current HOS regulations is provided here.

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