Long awaited HOS FINAL RULE was announced on May 14th by FMCSA. It promises to provide efficiency to US truckers and at the same time maintain highway safety. The FINAL RULE is drafted after communication from almost 8,000 industry specialists, lawyers, safety groups and drivers themselves.
The Final Rule features four key changes to existing Hours of Service requirements.
- The Agency will increase safety and flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by requiring a break after 8 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.
- The Agency will modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: an 8/2 split, or a 7/3 split—with neither period counting against the driver’s 14‑hour driving window.
- The Agency will modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
- The Agency will change the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.
The FINAL RULE is estimated to save American consumers and the U.S. economy $274 million per year. It can be viewed here: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/hours-service-drivers-final-rule