Although a draft version of the proposed changes to truck driver hours-of-service regulations have been public for nearly a week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration formally published the notice of proposed rulemaking in the Dec. 29 edition of the Federal Register. Comments on the proposal are due Feb. 28. The agency announced the proposal on Dec. 23.
FMCSA is proposing seven changes from the rules in place today. The NPRM would:Limit drivers to either 10 or 11 hours of driving time — to be determined during the rulemaking process — following a period of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty. (FMCSA currently favors reducing driving to 10 hours);
Limit the standard ‘‘driving window’’ to 14 hours, while allowing that number to be extended to 16 hours twice a week;
Limit actual duty time within the driving window would to 13 hours;
Permit drivers to drive only if 7 hours or less have passed since their last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes;
Retain the 34-hour restart, subject to certain limits: The restart would have to include two periods between midnight and 6 a.m. and could be started no sooner than 168 hours (7 days) after the beginning of the previously designated restart;
Redefine ‘‘on duty’’ to allow some time spent in or on the CMV to be logged as off duty; and
Revise the oilfield operations exception to clarify the language on waiting time and to state that waiting time would not be included in the calculation of the driving window.
The NPRM is available online in PDF format or as a text document.