ALERT: FMCSA Unveils New Proposal on Hours of Service Changes

Washington D.C. – The wait is over as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on changes to hours of service (HOS) rules.

In the announcement, the FMCSA said the intent of the newly proposed HOS rule is “to increase safety on America’s roadways by updating existing regulations for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers.”

“FMCSA wants drivers and all CMV stakeholders to share their thoughts and opinions on the proposed changes to hours of service rules that we are putting forward today,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.


“We listened directly to the concerns of drivers for rules that are safer and have more flexibility—and we have acted. We encourage everyone to review and comment on this proposal.”


Trucking stakeholders and drivers are sounding off about the new proposal.

To find out what they are saying click HERE.

Transportation Nation Network (TNN) first broke the news late Tuesday that the FMCSA was set to make its big announcement on Wednesday.

Trucking industry stakeholders have been holding their collective breath since U.S. Department Of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced on Friday, March 29 at the Mid-America Trucking Show, the proposed rule on HOS reform had been submitted to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.


We now have our first look at the FMCSA’s new proposal.

According to the FMCSA, the newly proposed rule offers five key revisions to the existing HOS rules:

* The Agency proposes to increase safety and flexibility for the 30 minute break rule by tying the break requirement to eight 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 modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: one period of at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and the other period of not less than two consecutive hours, either off duty or in the sleeper berth. Neither period would count against the driver’s 14‑hour driving window.


* The Agency proposes to allow one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than three 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 adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.

* The Agency proposes a change to 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.


FMCSA’s proposal would not increase driving time and would continue to prevent CMV operators from driving for more than eight consecutive hours without at least a 30-minute change in duty status.

In addition, FMCSA says its proposed changes to HOS regulations is estimated to provide $274 million in savings for the U.S. economy and American consumers.

The public comment period will be open for 45 days.

The Federal Register Notice, including how to submit comments, is available HERE.

TNN will have much, much more on this so stay logged on to for reaction from around the industry.



FMCSA Knocks Down Report on Cause of HOS Delay as Speculation Grows

COMMON SENSE HOS, part I: Why Optimism Is Building For Common Sense HOS Changes

COMMON SENSE HOS: part II, Give Us Flexibility!

FMCSA Boss: HOS Reform Coming In “Short Order,” Weighs In On Under-21 Truckers

To read more of TNN’s comprehensive coverage on the topic click HERE.



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