FMCSA Proposes Pilot Program to Allow Drivers to Pause 14-Hour Driving Window
Washington D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing a pilot program to allow temporary regulatory relief from the Agency’s hours-of-service (HOS) requirement that all driving by drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) be completed within 14 hours after coming on duty.
During the pilot program, known as the Split Duty Period Pilot Program, participating CMV drivers would have the option to pause their 14-hour on-duty period with one off-duty period of no less than 30 minutes and no more than 3 hours.
Participation would be limited to a certain number of commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders who meet the criteria specified for participation.
The Agency says the proposed pilot program seeks to gather “statistically reliable evidence” whether decisions concerning the timing of such flexibility can be aligned with employers’, shippers’, and receivers’ scheduling preferences to “optimize productivity while ensuring safety performance at a level equivalent to or greater than what would be achieved absent the regulatory relief.”
As Transportation Nation Network (TNN) reported in July, FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen signaled a willingness to study the split duty issue further, particularly as it relates to off-duty time.
During his appearance at the Truckload Carriers Association’s (TCA) virtual meeting, Acting Administrator Mullen said, “An option is to do a pilot program on allowing 6/4 and 5/5 (splits) and study it that way. A pilot program would probably be the best way to test the water to see what the affects are.”
The Agency is also ready to roll out its new HOS final rule set to take effect September 29, 2020.
As for the current proposal, the FMCSA will be seeking public comments on the proposal for 60 days.
To submit your comment online, go to www.regulations.gov, put the docket number, “FMCSA-2020-0098” in the “Keyword” box, and click “Search.”
Click HERE to read more about this proposed pilot program.