FMCSA moves to codify short-haul exemption to HOS 30-minute break rule

Source: Associated Builders and Contractors, Alexandria, Va.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will not apply the provision under its revised hours of service (HOS) rule requiring drivers to take a 30-minute break for every eight hours of consecutive driving in short-haul conditions, and will initiate a rulemaking to include such text in its regulations.

The enforcement clarification follows a U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decision earlier this month striking down application of the 30-minute break requirement to short-haul drivers with non-commercial drivers licenses (CDL). FMCSA decided to apply the court’s decision not only to non-CDL short-haul drivers, but also to those who hold CDLs. Specifically, the following drivers will be exempt from enforcement of the break rule:

  • All drivers (CDL and non-CDL) that operate within 100 air-miles of their normal work reporting location and satisfy the time limitations and recordkeeping requirements of 395.1(e)(1).
  • Non-CDL drivers that operate within a 150 air-mile radius of the location where the driver reports  for duty and satisfy the time limitations and recordkeeping requirements of 395.1(e)(2).

Beyond the 30-minute break language, the final HOS rule, which became effective July 1, changed the total hours a week a truck driver can work from 82 to 70 and implemented a “34-hour restart” requirement.