The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a final rule updating its Hours of Service Regulations in the Federal Register on Monday June 1, 2020. The new hours of service rules originally announced on May 14 have an implementation date of 120 days after publication in the Federal Register and will become effective September 29, 2020.
FMCSA’s final rule on hours of service offers four key revisions to the existing HOS rules:
- The Agency will increase safety and flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by requiring a break after 8 hours of consecutive driving and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status, rather than off-duty status.
- The Agency will modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: an 8/2 split, or a 7/3 split — with neither period counting against the driver’s 14‑hour driving window.
- The Agency will modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
- The Agency will change the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.