FMCSA extends comment period for proposed rule to amend trucker hours-of-service regs

   Washington – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended by 14 days the comment period for a proposed rule the agency claims would add flexibility to hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers, according to a notice published in the Sept. 19 Federal Register.
   The move comes in response to requests from industry groups, including the American Trucking Associations, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The new comment deadline is Oct. 21.
   FMCSA published the proposed rule in the Aug. 22 Federal Register, and the initial comment period was slated to expire Oct. 7.
   Highlights of the proposal include:
  • Expanding the current 100-air mile short haul exemption to 14 hours on duty from 12 hours on duty, to be consistent with 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 eight hours of continuous driving.
  • Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks equipped with sleeper berth compartments.
  • Allowing covered commercial motor vehicle operators one rest break – for up to three consecutive hours – during every 14-hour on-duty period.
  • Allowing covered CMV operators to use multiple off-duty periods of at least three hours in place of taking 10 consecutive hours off duty.