**Update: Public Comment Period Now Open Until Monday, October 21, 2019**
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on updates to hours of service (HOS) rules to increase safety and provide additional flexibility for commercial drivers.
The proposed rule on hours of service rule offers five key modifications to the existing HOS rules:
The Agency proposes a 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 Agency proposes to modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by 2 hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
The Agency proposes to increase flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by tying the break requirement to 8 hours of driving time without an interruption for at least 30 minutes, and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on duty, not driving status, rather than off duty.
The Agency proposes to modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10-hours off duty into two periods: an 8 and 2 split or a 7 and 3 split, either off duty or in the sleeper berth. Neither period would count against the driver’s 14‑hour driving window.
The Agency proposes to allow one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than 3 hours, that would pause a truck driver’s 14-hour driving window, provided the driver takes 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of the work shift.
Washington — Commercial motor vehicle drivers are no longer officially required to take a weekly break of at least 34 consecutive hours, including two breaks between 1 and 5 a.m., to comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours-of-service regulations, under a new final rule.
Published in the Sept. 12 Federal Register and effective immediately, the final rule formally withdraws the provisions from the Code of Federal Regulations after Congress suspended them in December 2014 pending further research into their safety ramifications. Continue reading»
Query plans will be available for purchase on the Clearinghouse website in fall 2019.
FMCSA has released the query plan options for employers of CDL drivers. The query plan information is in the attached factsheet, it is also available for download on the Clearinghouse website. Query plans will be available for purchase fall 2019.
Washington — After numerous delays, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has unveiled a highly anticipated proposed rule the agency claims would add flexibility to hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers. Read more»
Changes to the Data Required on the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form and the Alcohol Testing Form Required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Beginning January 6, 2020
To ensure you are prepared on January 6, 2020, when the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) becomes operational, we want to remind you about an upcoming change related to recording information on the Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF) and Alcohol Testing Form (ATF).
Greenbelt, MD — Commercial motor vehicle inspectors throughout North America will perform brake system examinations Sept. 15-21 during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Brake Safety Week.
This year’s outreach and enforcement campaign, created in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, will place special emphasis on brake hoses and tubing. Inspectors also will be looking for other critical non-brake-related violations.
Last year’s event resulted in 35,080 inspections and identified 4,955 vehicles (14.1%) with out-of-service conditions. FMCSA data shows that brake-related violations comprised six of the 20 most frequently cited violations in 2017.
“We all know how important a properly functioning brake system is to vehicle operation,” CVSA President Jay Thompson said in a June 18 press release. “All components of the brake system must always be in proper operating condition. Brake systems and their parts and components must be routinely checked and carefully and consistently maintained to ensure the health and safety of the overall vehicle.”
Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking input on whether it should clarify or revise the definitions of “agricultural commodity” or “livestock” in its hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers.
FMCSA made the announcement in an advance notice of proposed rulemaking published in the July 29 Federal Register. Current regulations call for exemptions in HOS requirements during harvesting and planting season in each state. Drivers are exempt in a 150-air-mile radius from the source of that agricultural commodity.
In 49 CFR Part 395.2, FMCSA defines “agricultural commodity” as “any agricultural commodity, non processed food, feed, fiber or livestock.” The agency states that the newly published ANPRM “is prompted by indications that the current definitions of these terms may not be understood or enforced consistently when determining whether the HOS exemption applies.”
Washington — Bipartisan legislation recently introduced in the Senate is aimed at limiting the speed of heavy commercial trucks to 65 mph by requiring new trucks to be equipped with speed-limiting devices. Read more
It follows up on the recent passage of the “No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act,” which President Trump signed into law.
The new policy prohibits anyone who has used a commercial motor vehicle in the commission of a felony involving human trafficking from operating any other commercial vehicles for life.
A list of offenses permanently disqualifying people from driving commercial vehicles that require a commercial driver’s license already exists, but it did not include human trafficking offenses.
“The commercial motor vehicle industry is uniquely positioned to help detect and report human trafficking, and thankfully professional drivers’ efforts often bring an end to these tragic situations. Sadly, however, some human trafficking activities are facilitated by the use of commercial trucks or buses,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez. “By enforcing a lifetime ban on any CMV driver convicted of severe human trafficking, we aim to deliver a strong and effective deterrent to this abhorrent behavior. If a commercial driver is convicted of using their commercial motor vehicle related to human trafficking—that person will never be driving interstate commercial vehicles again.”