The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed modifications to the current Hours of Service (HOS) rules that will increase safety standards and allow more flexibility for commercial drivers while they are on duty. The proposal was published on August 15th, with a 45-day comment period following. The changes would not interfere with driving time and continue to prevent Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers from driving more than eight consecutive hours without a 30-minute change in duty status. HOS rules are implemented to make the roads safer by requiring drivers to log their driving hours with accuracy and completion and limits the number of hours a driver can drive each day, which reduces fatigued drivers.
From time to time, these rules are amended or modified to enhance safety precautions and efficiency, such as the last HOS rule change which went into effect requiring the use of an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) last April 2018. Both employers and employees are expected to understand and follow any modifications made to existing FMCSA rules and regulations to maintain compliance and safety on the roads for all.
What Modifications Were Proposed?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the proposed modifications are as such:
- The Agency proposes a change the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.
- The Agency proposes to modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by 2 hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
- The Agency proposes to increase flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by tying the break requirement to 8 hours of driving time without an interruption for at least 30 minutes, and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on duty, not driving status, rather than off duty.
- The Agency proposes to allow one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than 3 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.
- The Agency proposes to modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10-hours off duty into two periods: one period of at least 7 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and the other period of not less than 2 consecutive hours, either off duty or in the sleeper berth. Neither period would count against the driver’s 14‑hour driving window.
How DISA Can Help
Maintaining and properly logging your Hours of Service are vital to meeting transportation compliance standards and important in case of an audit. DISA’s Transportation Compliance Team (DTC) can assist you with a variety of transportation solutions and services, including helping you log your Hours of Service. Additional DISA transportation services include:
- FCRA Compliance
- Driver/Manager Drug and Alcohol Training
- Fuel Tax Reporting and Compliance
- Tax Recovery and Refund Services
- Licensing and Permitting
- HVUT / Form 2290 Tax Renewal
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Founded in 1987, DISA is the industry-leading provider of employee screening and compliance services. Headquartered in Houston, with more than 30 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada, DISA’s comprehensive scope of services includes drug and alcohol testing, background screening, occupational health, and transportation compliance. DISA assists employers in making informed staffing decisions while building a culture of safety in their workplace.