This past week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) revised the hours of service (HOS) regulations to provide greater flexibility for drivers subject to those rules. In the final rule, the FMSCA made four significant changes:
• The on-duty limits for short-haul operations will increase from 12 to 14 hours and from 100 air-miles to 150.
• The adverse driving provision will extend the driving window two hours if the driver encounters adverse driving conditions.
• Now requires a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving time (instead of on-duty time) and allows an on-duty/not driving period to qualify as the required break
• The 30-minute break provision will be modified to require the break after eight hours of consecutive driving time (instead of on-duty time) and allows an on-duty/not driving period to qualify as the required break.
“These new common sense rules will give truckers more options for planning their days,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said. “They will help drivers reach their destination safely without feeling like they have to race against the clock to comply with federal mandates. They also will help truckers get the rest they need when they need it. When safety rules make sense, drivers are better able to comply and that benefits everyone.” The final rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register this week, the agency said. The rule will go into effect 120 days after it is published to allow ELD manufacturers to implement programming changes. Depending on when the rule is published, the changes could go into effect as soon as Sept. 15.