Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is asking for comments on petitions seeking to restore California’s and Washington state’s rules on meal and rest breaks for commercial truck and bus drivers.
The agency had preempted both states’ rules, which gave drivers at least 30 minutes of off-duty mealtime for every five hours of work and a 10-minute rest period for every four hours of work for drivers transporting property.
FMCSA requests input on:
- Whether – and to what extent – enforcement of a state’s meal and rest break laws with respect to intrastate property-carrying and passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers has impacted the health and safety of drivers.
- Whether enforcement of state meal and rest break laws as applied to interstate property-carrying or passenger-carrying CMV drivers will exacerbate existing truck parking shortages and result in more trucks parking on the side of the road, and whether any such effect will burden interstate commerce or create additional dangers to drivers and the public.
- Whether enforcement of a state’s meal and rest break laws as applied to interstate property-carrying or passenger-carrying CMV drivers will dissuade carriers from operating in that state.
- Whether enforcement of a state’s meal and rest break laws as applied to interstate property-carrying or passenger-carrying CMV drivers will weaken or otherwise impact the resiliency of the national supply chain.
In December 2018, FMCSA preempted California’s rules for property-carrying CMV drivers who are subject to hours-of-service regulations. The agency said the rules were incompatible with current federal HOS regulations and caused “a disruption in interstate commerce.” A little more than a year later, FMCSA granted a similar preemption petition for passenger-carrying CMV drivers in the state.
In November 2020, FMCSA granted a petition to preempt Washington state’s meal and rest break rules for property-carrying CMV drivers, determining that federal HOS regulations supersede the state’s rules.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Truck Safety Coalition, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, Parents Against Tired Truckers, and William B. Trescott have petitioned FMCSA to reverse those decisions.
The American Trucking Associations, the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association, the American Bus Association, and the Washington Trucking Associations submitted the original petitions for FMCSA preemption.
Comments are due Feb. 26.
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Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication