Proposed Change to Drivers Hours of Service Released

Last week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued its longawaited Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Drivers Hours of Service (HOS). The proposed rule would make six changes from the current requirements that were initially adopted in 2003.

First, the proposed rule would limit drivers to either 10 or 11 hours of driving time following a period of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty. FMCSA hasn’t made a determination yet as to which number to propose and is soliciting comments on this before deciding. Also, the proposal would limit the standard ‘‘driving window’’ to 14 hours, while allowing that number to be extended to 16 hours twice a week. Actual duty time within the driving window would be limited to 13 hours. Drivers would be permitted to drive only if 7 hours or less have passed since their last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes.
The 34-hour restart provision would be retained, subject to certain limits. The restart would have to include two periods between midnight and 6 am and could be started no sooner than 168 hours (7 days) after the beginning of the previously designated restart. Finally, the definition of ‘‘on duty’’ would be revised to allow some time spent in or on the CMV to be logged as off duty.
NPGA has consistently supported the retention of the current HOS regulations promulgated in 2003. We are reviewing this latest proposal in detail and also working with a coalition of other organizations to develop a response by the February 28, 2011 comment deadline.



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