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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

DOT Seeks Public Comment on Revising Current Hours-of-Service Regulations CDL Drivers


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on Wednesday announced that it is seeking public comment on revising four specific areas of current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, which limit the operating hours of commercial truck drivers.

The upcoming Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), which will be published in the Federal Register, responds to widespread Congressional, industry, and citizen concerns and seeks feedback from the public to determine if HOS revisions may alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers while maintaining safety on our nation’s highways and roads.  The comment period will be open for 30 days.

The four specific areas under consideration for revision are:
  • Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers;
  • Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions;
  • Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8-hours of continuous driving; and
  •  Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.
Earlier this year, the congressionally mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule, which required most FMCSA-regulated motor carriers to convert their records from paper to an electronic format, became effective. While compliance with the ELD rule has reached nearly 99 percent across the trucking industry, it has also brought focus to HOS regulations, especially with regard to certain regulations having a significant impact on agriculture and other sectors of trucking. 


The first in a series of public listening sessions on the ANPRM will take place Friday, August 24, 2018, in Dallas, Texas, at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time. 

Common Sense Counsel: the trucking industry has undergone tremendous technology changes over the past two years. The ELD and GPS allows trucking companies and DOT regulators to track virtually every minute a driver is in the truck. This in turn is creating hours of services issues and possible heavy DOT fines for violations for exceeding those numbers. Stay tuned and stay in compliance.