FMCSA Seeks Public Comment on Revising Current Hours-of-Service Regulations for Interstate Truck Drivers

August 21, 2018

Contact: Duane DeBruyne

Tel.: (202) 366-9999

 

 

 

FMCSA Seeks Public Comment on Revising Current Hours-of-Service Regulations for Interstate Truck Drivers

 

Areas under consideration for revision include short-haul operations, adverse driving conditions, 30-minute break, and split sleeper-berth

 

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it is seeking public comment on revising four specific areas of current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, which limit the operating hours of commercial truck drivers.

 

The upcoming Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service-advanced-notice-proposed-rulemaking, which will be published in the Federal Register, responds to widespread Congressional, industry, and citizen concerns and seeks feedback from the public to determine if HOS revisions may alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers while maintaining safety on our nation’s highways and roads.  The comment period will be open for 30 days.

 

The four specific areas under consideration for revision are:

 

·       Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers;

·       Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions;

·       Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8-hours of continuous driving; and

·       Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.

In addition, the ANPRM seeks public comment and relevant data on two recently submitted petitions requesting regulatory relief from HOS rules (1) pertaining to the 14-hour on-duty limitation (filed by the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association) and (2) pertaining to the 10-hour off-duty requirement (filed by TruckerNation).

 

Earlier this year, the congressionally mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule, which required most FMCSA-regulated motor carriers to convert their records from paper to an electronic format, became effective. While compliance with the ELD rule has reached nearly 99 percent across the trucking industry, it has also brought focus to HOS regulations, especially with regard to certain regulations having a significant impact on agriculture and other sectors of trucking.

 

Additional information on the ANPRM, including how to submit comments to the Federal Register docket, is available at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service-advanced-notice-proposed-rulemaking

 

The first in a series of public listening sessions on the ANPRM will take place Friday, August 24, 2018, in Dallas, Texas, at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time.  Further information is available at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/event/public-listening-session-hours-service.

 

Information on current HOS regulations is available at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/summary-hours-service-regulations.

 

Information on electronic logging devices (ELDs) carried on-board long-haul trucks and used by commercial vehicle enforcement officers to check compliance with HOS regulations is available at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/electronic-logging-devices.

 

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FMCSA grants rest exemption for fuel haulers

Under certain conditions, fuel trucks can operate for twelve hours a day without triggering the rest break requirement.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted an exemption from the 30-minute rest break requirement for trucks hauling petroleum products. Under certain conditions, fuel trucks can operate for twelve hours a day without triggering the rest break requirement, according to Monday’s announcement.

With this exemption, FMCSA recognized that “these drivers receive several short ‘breaks’ each day when they unload…at service stations.” 

  1. This exemption is limited to motor carriers and drivers engaged in the transportation of the following petroleum products: U.N. 1170— Ethanol, U.N. 1202—Diesel Fuel, U.N. 1203—Gasoline, U.N. 1863—Fuel, aviation, turbine engine, U.N. 1993— Flammable liquids, n.o.s. (gasoline), U.N. 3475—Ethanol and gasoline mixture, Ethanol and motor spirit mixture, or Ethanol and petrol mixture, and N.A. 1993—Diesel Fuel or Fuel Oil.

 

CVSA Adds New Inspection Bulletin on Display of GHS Labels on Bulk Packages

2017-03 – Display of GHS Labels on Bulk Packages Created: Sept. 21, 2017

Summary This Inspection Bulletin provides guidance on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) pictograms or labels and their display on bulk packages while in transportation. Background Questions have arisen as to whether the GHS pictograms or labels may be displayed (but are not required) on bulk packages while in transportation. The following is an example of GHS pictograms displayed in conjunction with and in proximity to a placard, marine pollutant mark and ID number on a tank: The GHS pictograms are the two square-on-point graphics with white backgrounds, black symbols and red borders.

Full Bulletin Attached

 

Webinar on Updated Inspection Bulletins to be held November 1, 2017 from 2:00 – 3:00

Link to sign up

Crash Preventability Demonstration Program Overview

On August 1, 2017, the Agency will begin accepting Requests for Data Review (RDRs) into its Crash Preventability Demonstration Program through DataQs.  Crashes eligible for the Crash Preventability Demonstration Program must have occured on or after June 1, 2017.  The Crash Preventability Demonstration Program is expected to last a minimum of 24 months.

FMCSA’s safety programs use data from 3.5 million roadside inspections and 150,000 crashes each year to prioritize its enforcement resources on those motor carriers that pose the greatest safety risks on our Nation’s roads.

Studies show that crash involvement is a strong indicator of future crash risk.  The Crash Preventability Demonstration Program allows FMCSA to gather data to examine the feasibility, costs, and benefits of making crash preventability determinations on certain crash types.  FMCSA will use the information from the program to evaluate if these preventability determinations improve the Agency’s ability to identify the highest-risk motor carriers.

For more information on the Crash Preventability Demonstration Program, please visit:

Updated: Thursday, July 27, 2017

Delay for ELD mandate? Leading transportation attorney says not likely

House measure would require FMCSA study; Agency defends mandate

Hours after a House committee passed a measure requiring additional study on the pending electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, a leading transportation attorney downplayed the chances of a major overhaul.

Included in a Department of Transportation fiscal 2018 funding bill passed July 17 by the House Appropriations Committee was language requiring a look at “whether a full or targeted delay in ELD implementation and enforcement would be appropriate.”

Read more

FMCSA puts final nail in the coffin for restart regs

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration confirmed on its website that the 2013 regulations on the 34-hour restart will not go back into effect, given the results of a study released this week.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has notified Congress that the required study of the those regs revealed they provided no safety benefit. The notification verified a DOT Inspector General notice issued last week on the study’s conclusions.

Read more

FMCSA Notice

Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing:

FMCSA re-opens the public comment period for the Agency’s January 19, 2017, notice announcing the application for exemption from J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. (J.B. Hunt), Schneider National Carriers, Inc. (Schneider), Werner Enterprises, Inc. (Werner), Knight Transportation, Inc. (Knight), Dupre Logistics, Inc. (Dupree), and Maveric Transportation, LLC (Maverick) to allow hair analysis in lieu of urine testing for pre-employment controlled substances testing of commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders.

Comments must be submitted by April 25, 2017.

Read more

FMCSA clarifies ELD mandate’s ‘grandfather’ clause and potential issues with non-compliant ELDs

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration last week issued new guidance on the use of older logging devices that, while lacking compliance with the agency’s electronic logging device stipulations, afford carriers two extra years — until December 2019 — to fully comply with the ELD mandate.

The agency also published last week clarification for carriers whose devices turn out to be non-compliant after they’re in use.

Read more

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Truck driver shut down after two alcohol-related arrests in four-day span

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Tennessee-licensed truck driver Eric Ronald Scott to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. Scott was served the federal order on January 18, 2016.

Since receiving his commercial driver’s license (CDL) from the state of Tennessee on October 26, 2016, Scott has been arrested in two separate alcohol-involved events spanning a four-day period.

On the morning of December 31, 2016, the Berlin, Vermont, Police Department, in response for assistance at a local hotel parking lot, subsequently found Scott asleep in the cab of his tractor-trailer. Following a preliminary breath test for alcohol that detected the presence of alcohol, Scott was arrested for domestic assault.

On January 2, 2017, Scott was released from police custody. The following evening, the Berlin, Vermont, Police Department responded to a multi-vehicle crash that involved a tractor-trailer operated by Scott. According to the police report, while en route to Burlington, Vermont, with a final destination of Memphis, Tennessee, Scott jackknifed his tractor-trailer, striking a stop sign and causing three passenger vehicles to be forced off the road. An alcohol breath test conducted by police at the scene on Scott detected the presence of alcohol. Scott was subsequently arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order to Scott states that his continued operation of a CMV in interstate commerce “ … substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and/or the motoring public if not discontinued immediately.”

Failure to comply with the provisions of a federal imminent hazard out-of-service order may result in action by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for equitable relief and punitive damages. Civil penalties of up to $3,100 may be assessed for each violation of operating a commercial motor vehicle in violation of the order. Knowing and/or willful violation of the order may also result in criminal penalties.

Scott also may be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by FMCSA for his violation of the agency’s safety regulations.
Updated: Thursday, February 2, 2017