After receiving 8000 public comments on the changes required in the hours of service regulation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) finally announced updated hours on Thursday.
These changed rules were admired by some industry groups while Safety advocates criticized the change, saying it would lead to more fatigue-related crashes.
According to the FMCSA, the 4 key revisions are:
A 30 minutes mandatory break for the truckers after 8 hours of consecutive driving. They can now count time spent doing things like waiting for the truck to be loaded as break time rather than being off duty.
- Sleeper-berth exception
The new changes in sleeper-berth exception now allow drivers to split their 10 hours off duty into two periods. They can now complete 10 hours in eight-hour and two-hour periods or seven-hour and three-hour periods. Neither split counts against the 14- hour driving window.
- Adverse driving conditions
The adverse driving conditions exception, will be extend by two hours for the maximum window in which driving is permitted.
This change is done to boost the safety measures for the driver. Which allowed them to proceed slowly if necessary or can take a break if necessary, without exceeding their driving window.
- Short-haul exceptions
The maximum on duty period for the driver will be increased by 12 to 14 hours and the distance limit that driver can operate will be extended from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.
Transportation secretary Elaine Chao said the America’s truckers are doing a heroic job by keeping our supply chain running at the time of difficulty. These new rules will provide them flexibility and it will keep America going.
The new changed rules will come in effect after 120 days, after being published in the federal register.
The new changed rules will help in growing the U.S. economy and could save $274 million dollars of American consumes annually.
The biggest impact on the trucking industry with regard to the savings, is the shift in the 30-minute rest break requirement, said Larry Minor, associate administrator for policy for the FMCSA.
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