FMCSA Proposed Changes to the Hours of Service Regulations
In 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed new changes to the current hours of service regulations.
Modifications to the Hours of Service Rules
The FMCSA wants revisions to four key aspects of the hours of service regulations:
- The air mile exemption. Trucking companies that operate primarily in a local area are permitted to utilize an air mile exemption, so their truckers aren’t required to report their driving time or use an electronic logging device. The air mile exemption applies to drivers who operate within 100 air miles, go off-duty within 12 hours, report to the same work location daily, and have at least 10 consecutive hours off. Under the proposed changes, this exemption would be expanded from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty.
- The on-duty limitation. Under current regulations, truckers aren’t permitted to drive after having been on duty for 14 hours. The FMCSA proposed extending this limitation by up to two hours when a trucker is faced with adverse driving conditions, such as snow, ice, or fog.
- The 30-minute break. Currently, truck drivers are required to rest for at least 30 minutes after eight hours of continuous driving. The FMCSA is considering possible alternatives to this requirement.
- The sleeper berth option. Operators of trucks with sleeper berths are permitted to split their required off-duty breaks of 10 consecutive hours into two shifts. One of these shifts must be between two and eight hours, and it may be spent in the sleeper berth, off-duty, or some combination of the two. The other shift must be between eight and 10 hours, and spent entirely in the sleeper. The FMCSA proposed a pilot program to give drivers greater flexibility in the length of these sleeper berth periods.
Unfortunately, relaxed trucking regulations may lead to more drowsy truckers on the road, increasing the risk of serious collisions. If you were injured due to a truck accident, you need representation by an experienced truck accident attorney to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
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