New HOS Rules (Proposed)


New HOS rules

Dept. of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a new proposal to revise hours-of-service (HOS) rules, that would make minor changes to the existing “restart” provisions. This is only a proposal at this time and is not final.

The latest in a string of FMCSA new HOS rule making proposals, this one would retain the existing 34-hour “restart” provision that DOT said allows drivers to “restart the clock” on their weekly 60 or 70 hours by taking at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty.

Under this the New HOS rules proposal, the restart period would have to include two consecutive off-duty periods from midnight to 6:00 a.m., presumably to ensure drivers get two nights off in a row. Drivers would be allowed to use this restart only once during a seven-day period, noted DOT.

The proposed rule would require truckers “to complete all driving within a 14-hour workday, and to complete all on-duty work-related activities within 13 hours to allow for at least a one- hour break.”

DOT leaves open for comment whether drivers should be limited to 10 or 11 hours of daily driving time, although FMCSA currently favors a 10-hour limit.

According to DOT, other key provisions of the proposed rule include:

* Option of extending a driver’s daily shift to 16 hours twice a week “to accommodate for issues such as loading and unloading at terminals or ports”

* Allowing drivers to “count some time spent parked in their trucks toward off-duty hours.”

Additionally, truckers in violation of this proposed rule would face civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense. Trucking companies that allow their drivers to violate the proposal’s driving limits would face penalties of up to $11,000 for each offense.

DOT stated that publication of the proposed rule “coincides with the timeframe established in a court settlement agreement that requires FMCSA to publish a final HOS rule by July 26, 2011.”

The rule making will be published in the Federal Register on December 29 and the public will then have 60 days to comment. Click here for information on how to submit comments and read the exact proposal.

New HOS Rules

11-Hour Driving Limit
May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.   

May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not
extend the 14-hour period.   

Rest Breaks
May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver’s last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes. Does
 not apply to drivers using either of the short-haul exceptions in 395.1(e). [49 CFR 397.5 mandatory “in attendance” time may be included
 in break if no other duties performed]    60/70-Hour Limit
May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.

60/70-Hour Limit
May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or
more consecutive hours off duty.

NOTICE: The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 was enacted on December 16, 2014, suspending enforcement of new requirements for use of the 34-hour restart, pending a study. Based on the findings from the study, the 34-hour restart rule in operational effect on June 30, 2013, is restored to full force and effect. The requirement for two off-duty periods of 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. in section 395.3(c) of the Agency’s hours-of-service rules will not be enforced, nor will the once-per-week limit on use
of the restart in 395.3(d).

Sleeper Berth Provision
Drivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper berth time into two periods
provided neither is less than 2 hours.
Sleeper Berth Provision
Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.     
Updated: Thursday, March 9, 2017

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