The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is seeking the public’s input on four specific areas of the current hours-of-service regulations.

The request, is in response to Congressional, industry, and citizen concerns that certain hours-of-service requirements place unnecessary burdens on drivers while not having a positive impact on highway safety. It will be published as an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule-Making (ANPRM) in an upcoming edition of the Federal Register.

The four areas under consideration for revision are:

  • Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, for consistency with the rules for long-haul truck drivers;
  • Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions;
  • Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8-hours of continuous driving; and
  • Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.
  • The ANPRM will also seek public comment on two recently submitted petitions requesting regulatory relief from the hours-of-service rules pertaining to:
  • The 14-hour on-duty limitation (filed by the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association); and
  • The 10-hour off-duty requirement (filed by TruckerNation).

What do the regulations say about my driver who has a current medical certificate but has developed a medical condition that would make the operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) questionable and possibly unsafe?

FMCSA regulations prohibit a driver from beginning or continuing to drive if their ability and/or alertness is impaired by: fatigue, illness, or any cause that makes it unsafe to begin (continue) to drive a commercial vehicle.

Even if a driver currently has a valid medical certificate, the driver is prohibited from driving a CMV with any medical condition that would be disqualifying or may interfere with the safe operation of a CMV. Once a disqualifying medical condition is resolved, and before resuming operation of CMV, a driver is responsible for obtaining re-certification from a Medical Examiner. FMCSA CFR 391.45

Originally Posted on the Idealease Safety Seminar