FMCSA Allows Truck Drivers Flexibility

May 19, 2020

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published its final rule on changes to hours-of-service regulations in a move intended to increase flexibility for truck drivers. 

The final rule, announced on May 14, includes four revisions that pertain to issues truckers have voiced concerns about, such as the 30-minute rest break and splitting up time in the sleeper berth. 

The final rule is effective 120 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

According to Transport Topics, the final rule will allow 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. 

Drivers will also be allowed to divide their required 10 hours off-duty into two periods: a 8/2 split or a 7/3 split. Neither period would count against the driver’s 14-hour driving window. The rule also modifies the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted. 

The final rule is based on a proposed rule making that was announced August 14, 2019. FMCSA officials waded through 8,000 public comments, gathered both online and through in-person meetings, as they formed the final rule.