Newsflash: New FMCSA Hours of Service Regulations Go Into Effect On September 29, 2020

Joseph W. Pappalardo By Joseph W. Pappalardo

The long awaited final Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rule revising hours of service (HOS) regulations to provide greater flexibility for drivers subject to those rules, without adversely affecting safety, was published recently in the Federal Register. The final ruling can be found here, but below is a summary of what is involved.

The FMCSA:FMCSA Hours Of Service Regulations

  1. Expands the short-haul exception to 150 air-miles (from 100 air-miles) and allows a 14-hour work shift (from a 12-hour work shift). The remaining requirements of the exception remain in effect. The exception relieves drivers from filling out logs and allows the use of time sheets.
  2. Expands the driving window during adverse driving conditions by up to an additional 2 hours;
  3. Requires a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving time (instead of on-duty time) and allows an on-duty/not driving (in addition to off duty and sleeper berth) period to qualify as the required break; and
  4. Modifies the sleeper berth exception to allow a driver to meet the 10-hour minimum off-duty requirement by spending at least 7, rather than at least 8, hours of that period in the berth and a minimum off-duty period of at least 2 hours spent inside or outside of the berth, provided the two periods total at least 10 hours, and that neither qualifying period counts against the 14-hour driving window.

The new regulations go into effect on September 29, 2020.

As always, we will continue to monitor this update and provide additional information as it is disseminated. If you have questions, feel free to contact us.