Transportation Law Update: FMSCA’S New Hours of Service Rule (49 C.F.R. part 395)

06.02.2020

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently released a Final Rule making some changes to the Hours of Service regulations. The Final Rule is effective September 29, 2020 and is accessible here. Under this Final Rule there are four major changes involving limits for on-duty short-haul operations, adverse driving conditions, split-sleeper options, and breaks.

On-Duty Short-Haul Operations Limits:

The limits for on-duty short-haul operations will increase. The original requirement for the driver to operate within a 100 air-mile radius within the normal work reporting location will be increased to 150 air-miles (172.6 statute miles). And the original requirement of drivers to work within 12 consecutive hours will be increased to 14 hours, except a driver-salesperson. A property-carrying commercial motor vehicle driver will now have at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty between 14 hours on-duty, and a passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle driver will now have at least 8 consecutive hours off-duty between 14 hours on-duty.

Adverse Driving Conditions:

If there are adverse driving conditions, the driving window will increase by a maximum of two hours. This is to ensure that the run can be completed or to reach safety for the occupants of the motor vehicle and the cargo. Adverse driving conditions include snow, ice, sleet, and fog.

Split-Sleeper Options:

For property-carrying commercial motor vehicles with a sleeper berth, there will be an additional split-sleeper option of 7/3, added to the 10/0 and 8/2 already in place.

Breaks:

And finally, breaks of at least 30-minutes will be required after driving for eight hours. The consecutive 30-minute interruption of driving status can include any off-duty, sleeper berth, or on-duty not driving period, or any combination.

For more information:

Contact John F. Fatino about trucking and transportation matters at (515) 288-6041 or fatino@whitfieldlaw.com. Elaina J. Steenson, J.D. Candidate, Drake University Law School assisted in the preparation of these materials.

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