FMCSA proposes additional HoS relief

by Today's Trucking

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing a pilot program that would allow additional hours-of-service (HoS) regulatory relief to truck drivers.

The initiative would offer drivers one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than three hours, that would pause a 14-hour driving window, the agency said Friday.

Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. (Photo: FMCSA)

“Truckers are American heroes. They keep our supply chain moving. They carry essential goods we need to maintain our daily lives,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

“The department is seeking public comments on providing additional flexibility for truckers as they work to serve our country during this public health crisis.”

The agency said participation in the program would be limited to a certain number of drivers who meet the specified criteria.

“This pilot program, scheduled to operate for three years or less, would gather statistically reliable evidence to analyze the safety and feasibility of such a modification to the hours-of-service rules.”

The agency said it wants to hear directly from drivers about the possibility and safety of the program.

“We encourage drivers, motor carriers and interested citizens to review the proposed pilot program and provide substantive public comments for FMCSA to review,” said Deputy Administrator Jim Mullen. The comment period will be open for 60 days, the agency said.

Under Chao’s leadership, the FMCSA has worked to improve safety and add flexibility for commercial drivers, the agency said. 

In May, the FMCSA published a final rule updating existing HoS regulations to provide greater flexibility. The updated rules will go into effect Sept. 29.

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  • If you would put the same technology in cell phones that is in a e-log tablet rendering it unusable when moving it will pervent a huge portion of the wrecks in commercial vehicles. E-logs are doing nothing more than starving owner operators out of business!!! I’ve been driving nearly 37 years and i can tell you 9 times out of 10 when someone is on there phone texting. I’ve had other drivers cross the centerline on me so many times i stop counting, just to look over and see them with there phone up in front of there face. Especially California trucks are the worst. Not picking on any state just been my personal experience.

  • The more flexibility you build into the HOS the easier it is for us to do our jobs. I think this is a great idea, it allows drivers to take a nap if they get tired which is the biggest thing we lost when the hours were changed. I would absolutely support this. I have been a commercial driver for almost 25 years and know we need flexibility. Thank you

  • Isn’t this what drivers have been asking for for years now? Of course it would be safer many drivers don’t take a short nap like they used to because of the restraints of the 14 hour clock. Allowing them to stop it will allow them to go back to having a nap if needed and being safer on the road.

  • 14 hrs great
    Just let me run it the way i need to run it to be safe
    The way it is u got these new breed of truckers racing that 14hr clock making our roads more dangerous

    Regulate the shippers and receivers on wait times and hold them accountable along with how they load to ensure proper loading for loads to be legal
    The 30 minute break well it takes 30 minutes or more to fuel grab a bite to eat and get back on road at most truckstops these days just make it a 30 minute break during the course of a day like everyone else has at work. We cant always be at a point to get lunch at noon like everyone else