The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released its hours-of-service final rule, making changes to the agency’s hours-of-service rules in Part 395 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The rule included language identical to comments submitted by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) on behalf of the recycling industry that would increase route optimization, increase flexibility in pickups and deliveries, and maintain safety for drivers.
“The hours of service final rule provides a long-lasting positive impact for the recycling industry without adversely affecting transportation safety,” said ISRI President Robin Wiener. “As the voice of the recycling industry, ISRI appreciates the incorporation of our comments on this important issue and we look forward to continuing to work with the FMCSA to improve safety on our nation’s roadways.”
Highlights from the final rule include (full text of the rule can be found online):
- Increased safety and flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by requiring a break after 8 hours of consecutive driving and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status, rather than off-duty status.
- Modified sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: an 8/2 split, or a 7/3 split—with neither period counting against the driver’s 14‑hour driving window.
- Modified adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
- Changed short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.
The final rule revisions will take effect 120 days after the date the rule is published in the Federal Register.