FMCSA has provided more flexibility to drivers by revising the current hours of service regulation. The updated HOS rules will lighten up the burdens on the drivers to reach their destination leading to enhanced road safety. This new regulation will be effective from September 29, 2020.
1. 30-minute break: 30-minute break is required after 8 hours of driving time instead of on-duty as before. Also, this break now qualifies to be a part of any non-driving events (on-duty, sleeper berth or off-duty) instead of off-duty. Neither of the rest period count as part of the 14-hour driving window.
2. Split Sleep: Minimum 10-hour off-duty requirement can be met by spending at least 7 hours in sleeper instead of 8 hours and at least 2 hours in sleeper berth or off-duty. The drivers will have the flexibility to split their 10 hours minimum off-duty requirement into two separate periods—an 8/2 split or a 7/3 split. The two periods total should be at least 10 hours and neither period will be counted against the 14-hour driving window.
3. Short Haul: Extended the short haul exception radius from 100 to 150 air-miles with 14 hours of work shift instead of 12 hours
4. Adverse Driving: Adverse driving allows driver to drive 2 additional hours during adverse driving conditions – snow, fog, sleet ice or unusual road and traffic condition. Previously, the regulation allowed to use 2 additional driving hours withing 14 hour driving window. The revised regulation expands this 14-hour driving window by up to 2 hours.
Revised hours of services do not increase driving time and will continue to prevent truckers from driving for more than eight consecutive hours without at least a 30-minute break.