This morning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that they will be seeking public comment on Hours of Service regulations in anticipation of an upcoming Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
The FMCSA has asked for public comment on four specific areas of Hours of Service regulation:
- 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 8-hours of continuous driving; and
- 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.
The FMCSA is also asking the public for comment on two petitions:
- An Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) petition that would allow drivers to take up to a three hour off-duty rest break during a 14 hour day period. OOIDA’s petition also asks for the elimination of the 30 minute rest break.
- A Trucker Nation petition that would “revise the prohibition against driving after the 14th hour of the beginning of the work shift, allow drivers to use multiple off-duty periods of three hours or longer in lieu of having 10 consecutive hours off-duty, and eliminate the 30-minute rest break requirement.”
The FMCSA says that the implementation of the ELD Mandate has “brought focus to HOS regulations, especially with regard to certain regulations having a significant impact on agriculture and other sectors of trucking.”
Public comments will be accepted for 30 days after the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) is submitted to the Federal Register. The ANPRM is currently listed as pending. You can click here for more information on how to submit comments when the option becomes available. You can also click here to view the Docket Folder Summary on Regulations.gov.