The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) to revise the regulations for hours of service for drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).
To achieve these goals, the proposed rule would provide flexibility for drivers to take breaks when needed and would reduce safety and health risks associated with long hours. The proposed rule would make seven changes from current requirements.
First, the proposed rule would limit drivers to either 10 or 11 hours of driving time following a period of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty; on the basis of all relevant considerations, FMCSA currently favors a 10-hour limit, but its ultimate decision will include a careful consideration of comments and any additional data received.
Second, it would limit the standard "driving window" to 14 hours, while allowing that number to be extended to 16 hours twice a week.
Third, actual duty time within the driving window would be limited to 13 hours.
Fourth, drivers would be permitted to drive only if 7 hours or less have passed since their last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes.
Fifth, the 34-hour restart would be retained, subject to certain limits: The restart would have to include two periods between midnight and 6 a.m. and could be started no sooner than 168 hours (7 days) after the beginning of the previously designated restart.
Sixth, the definition of "on duty" would be revised to allow some time spent in or on the CMV to be logged as off duty.
Seventh, the oilfield operations exception would be revised to clarify the language on waiting time and to state that waiting time would not be included in the calculation of the driving window.
Comments may be submitted until February 28, 2011.