FMCSA Offers Guidance On 30-Minute Breaks For Short-Haul Drivers

Today, the FMCSA released regulatory guidance for short-haul drivers in regard the use of the 30-minute rule.

As of August 2, 2913, short haul drivers are exempt from the 30-minute break as long as they did not exceed their allowable driving time and distance.

Short haul drivers are defined as those with our without a CDL who travel within a 100-air mile radius in a 12-hour day and those without a CDL who drive within a 150-air mile radius.

Should a driver exceed the time or distance limit, he or she must take a break as soon as possible and make note of the situation in the log.

“The intent of the break rule would be satisfied if drivers in these situations take a break at the earliest safe opportunity after exceeding the short haul limits and explain in a RODS annotation why the rest break was not taken within the required 8 hours of the last off-duty break of at least 30 minutes,” the FMCSA states.

According to the Federal Register notice, the FMCSA has advised that in such situations, drivers should not be considered in violation of the break rule.

“Guidance. No. A driver using a § 395.1(e) short-haul exception who finds it necessary to exceed the exception limitations for unforeseen reasons, is not in violation of the § 395.3 rest-break requirements if 8 or more hours have passed at the time the driver becomes aware of the inability to use the short-haul exception. The driver should annotate the record-of-duty-status to indicate why the required rest break was not taken earlier, and should take the break at the earliest safe opportunity,” the FMCSA states.