2020 Advocacy Victory
Hours-of-Service Regulations Provide More Flexibility for 30-Minute Rest Break Rule
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published the final rule on changes to hours-of-service regulations. The changes reflect some of the sentiments of SC&RA both in formal comments submitted last fall, and in a private meeting between SC&RA leadership and FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen in February 2020. SC&RA submitted comments to FMCSA in the Fall of 2019 and asked for more flexibility on the split sleeper berth. The new changes did improve to 7+3 (SC&RA sought 6+4). Of interest to specialized transportation and crane and rigging companies are the following points:
- Allows more flexibility for the 30-minute rest break rule by requiring a break after eight hours of consecutive driving and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using “on-duty, not driving” status, rather than “off-duty” status.
- Modifies the split sleeper berth exception to allow drivers to divide their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: an 8/2 split or a 7/3 split. Neither period would count against the driver’s 14-hour driving window.
- Modifies the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
Changes the short haul exception available to certain 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.