In an effort to improve safety and allow more flexibility for commercial motor vehicle drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) made four modifications to the hours of service (HOS) regulations. The new rule does not increase driving time and it continues to prevent operators from driving more than 8 consecutive hours without at least a 30-minute change in duty status.
What Changes Are Coming?
Here are some brief notes on the changes.
- Expanded the short-haul exception to 150 air-miles and allows a 14 hour work shift.
- Expanded the driving window during adverse driving conditions (snow, sleet, fog, other adverse weather conditions, a highway covered with snow or ice, or unusual road and traffic condition, none of which were apparent on the basis of information known to the person dispatching the run at the time it was begun) by up to an additional 2 hours.
- 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.
- Modified the sleeper berth exception to allow a driver to meet the 10 hour minimum off-duty requirement by spending at least 7, rather than 8 hours of that period in the berth and a minimum off-duty period of at least 2 hours spent inside the berth, provided the two periods total at least 10 hours, and that neither period counts against the 14 hour driving window.
When do the changes take effect?
These changes take effect on September 29, 2020.
Visit the FMCSA website to learn more about the changes to the hours of service regulations.FMCSA Website