FMCSA pilot offers additional HoS relief

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has unveiled a pilot program that would allow additional hours-of-service (HoS) regulatory relief to truck drivers.

Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. (Photo: FMCSA)

The initiative will offer drivers one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than three hours, that would pause a 14-hour driving window, the agency said Friday.

“The department is seeking public comments on providing additional flexibility for truckers as they work to serve our country during this public health crisis,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. The agency said participation in the program would be limited to a certain number of drivers who meet the specified criteria.

“This pilot program, scheduled to operate for three years or less, would gather statistically reliable evidence to analyze the safety and feasibility of such a modification to the hours-of-service rules,” it said.

FMCSA

The agency said it wants to hear directly from drivers about the possibility and safety of the program. “We encourage drivers, motor carriers and interested citizens to review the proposed pilot program and provide substantive public comments for FMCSA to review,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Jim Mullen. Under Chao’s leadership, FMCSA has worked to improve safety and add flexibility for commercial drivers, the agency said. 

In May, the FMCSA published a final rule updating existing HoS regulations to provide greater flexibility.

The updated rules will go into effect Sept.

29.

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