New Hours of Service Rules for Truck Drivers

“The security benefits of ELD demand are higher when all regulated CMV operations are included in the ELD mandate, but the marginal cost (ELD cost plus compliance cost) of including these operations is more than 3 1/2 times higher than the marginal benefits. [Short-haul drivers] who do not use RODS have better compliance with hours of service and a much lower risk of accidents due to non-compliance with hours of service. For the non-RODS [short haul traffic] subgroup, the FMCSA analysis shows that ELDs are not a cost-effective solution for improving HOS compliance for non-RODS drivers. This result is consistent with previous ELD analyses. Short-haul drivers are sometimes allowed to extend their shift from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. To be eligible, you must meet all of the following conditions: FMCSA`s response: The agency agrees that drivers generally won`t spend much more time behind the wheel each day than they currently do, particularly because they`re limited to 11 hours of driving. Regarding the idea that drivers will continue to drive by falsifying time records due to the absence of an ELD, the agency notes that the exception allowing short-haul drivers to use season cards rather than RODS has long existed in the hours of service rules. Nothing in the amendments to the short distance exception creates additional opportunities for short-haul drivers to falsify time readings. The regular workplace requirement continues to apply to drivers who travel short distances. If a commercial truck driver violates the HOS rules, the FMCSA may stop the driver on the side of the road until they have accumulated sufficient hours of rest to comply.

The FMCSA could also impose civil penalties on the driver. Drivers may face federal penalties if they knowingly and deliberately violate FMCSA regulations. State and local law enforcement agencies can also punish drivers who violate regulations. Conversely, some drivers said they would not take a break if they drove less than 8 hours. (12) Do you expect fatigue when driving until the 17th hour of a workday? How would the up to 3-hour break affect this level of fatigue? OOIDA said 79 percent of respondents said they didn`t expect any impact on driving fatigue until the 17th hour of a Tuesday. On the contrary, the shared service break would reduce fatigue by giving drivers more time to rest, reducing stress and increasing alertness. A motorized carrier also expected less fatigue, as drivers were likely to stick more to their personal “internal clock.” The Pipeline Contractors Association said its members would not suffer additional fatigue if they extended the driving window by taking a break. OOIDA and the Association of American Railroads and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association stated that the requirement of lack of prior knowledge at the time of deployment should be eliminated, as it prevents drivers from taking advantage of the provision if road conditions change after shipment. The operation of trucking companies in Canada and the United States differs considerably. While travel lengths may be comparable, traffic density in Canada is much lower and weather conditions are more difficult.

Longer Canadian driving limits and reduced downtime are based on these operating conditions. In fact, Canada has special hours of service regulations for its northern regions that do not apply to the rest of the country. (Similarly, the FMCSA has other Alaska-specific HOS rules, 49 CFR 395.1(h).) Canadian rules seem just as complex as U.S. rules. Assuming some or part of it would mean a huge recycling effort, not just for the vast majority of U.S. citizens. Drivers who are unfamiliar with Canadian regulations, but also state law enforcement agencies who should review their regulations and databases, and then retrain all their officers. CVSA`s proposal to (partially) harmonize US and Canadian regulations by introducing a 16-hour driving window is not feasible given the FMCSA`s decision not to take a 3-hour break on the driver`s working day. NPRM did not propose to adopt any part of Canada`s hours of service rules and, therefore, the Agency cannot do so under these regulations. Previously, drivers could be eligible for the short-haul exemption on hours of service under section 395.1(e)(1) if they returned to their usual place of work and were terminated from work within 12 hours of starting work, could submit their work schedule using season cards, and work within 100 air miles of their workplace. Under the latter rule, drivers may be eligible for the short-haul hours of service exemption provided they return to the normal place of work and are dismissed from work within 14 hours of starting work, can submit their work schedule using seasonal cards, and work within 150 air miles of their employment reporting location.

In the AIR for NPRM, the FMCSA did not estimate an increase in the number of drivers eligible for the short-haul exemption based on the alternatives presented, but asked for comments on how the rule would affect the number of drivers working under the exemption. The Agency excludes from the final regime its proposal to grant a single rest period of up to 3 hours for the reasons explained later in the document. It is always necessary to take HOS rules into account when assigning rides to truck drivers, not only to comply with the law, but also to protect everyone on the road, including the truck drivers themselves. Schneider National Holdings, Inc. noted that the cost analysis of the proposed rule did not take into account the compliance costs associated with law enforcement and driver training, compared to the 2005 rule. Section 395.3(a)(3)(ii) the requirement or authorization of the driver of a road freight vehicle if more than 8 hours of driving time has elapsed without a continuous interruption of driving condition of at least 30 minutes; either out of service, sleeping place or not driving in service (critical). The objective of this provision is to increase the operational flexibility of drivers and carriers without compromising the Agency`s statutory safety mandate. Many commentators stated that the current hours of service requirements were too restrictive and that removing them would not compromise security.

But these claims are only supported by personal anecdotes. While the personal experiences of stakeholders inform the Agency`s decision-making process, more evidence is generally needed to support changes to the SDRP. Drivers and carriers using the exemption for short trips do not need to use RODS or DCE or take a 30-minute break. This extra time on the day of driving was still available to drivers when they withdrew from the short distance exemption. This change allows drivers to maintain this status while benefiting from regulatory relief. The FMCSA believes that the current requirement of 8 consecutive hours in the berth is unnecessarily restrictive and that a period of 7 hours would give essentially the same benefits, allowing drivers to sleep approximately 6.2 hours currently.

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