FMCSA Will Not Enforce Hours of Service Off-Duty Time for Short-Haul Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) posted an enforcement policy on its website, effective Aug. 2, that clarifies it will not apply the provision under its revised hours of service (HOS) rule that requires drivers to take a 30-minutes break for every eight hours of consecutive driving to short-haul drives. 

The final rule, which became effective July 1, also changed the total hours a week a truck driver can work from 82 to 70 and implemented a “34 hour restart” requirement.

FMCSA’s enforcement clarification followed an Aug. 2 decision by the U.S. court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that struck down the application of the 30-minute break requirement to short-haul drivers with non-commercial drivers licenses (CDL). FMCSA decided to apply the court’s decision not only to non-CDL short-haul drivers, but also to those who hold CDLs.
Specifically, the following drivers will be exempt from enforcement of the break rule:
  • All drivers (CDL and non-CDL) that operate within 100 air-miles of their normal work reporting location and satisfy the time limitations and recordkeeping requirements of 395.1(e)(1).
  • Non-CDL drivers that operate within a 150 air-mile radius of the location where the driver reports  for duty and satisfy the time limitations and recordkeeping requirements of 395.1(e)(2).
FMCSA plans to initiate a rulemaking to include text in the HOS regulations that the 30-minute break provisions do not apply to short haul drivers.