Final Hours of Service Rules Announced!

Yesterday the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced its long awaited changes to the driver hours of service rules. The new rules will be published in the Federal Register next week. There is a lengthy transition time as MOST OF THE NEW RULES WILL NOT BE IMPLEMENTED UNTIL JULY 1, 2013. While MMTA is still evaluating the details, the key components are as follows: Maximum Driving Hours – FMCSA retained the current 11 hour’s daily driving time limit, but placed a limit on the number of consecutive driving hours. No driving may occur if more than 8 consecutive hours have passed since a driver has taken a rest break of 30 minutes or more. Restart – The 34 hour restart provision is retained; however, any restart period must include two consecutive nighttime periods off-duty from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Drivers can only use the restart provision once in any seven calendar days. 14 Consecutive Hour Day (now called Driving Window) – The rule retains a 14 consecutive hour driving window.










No driving may occur after 14 consecutive hours since coming on-duty; non-driving work is allowed past the 14 hour driving window. Mandatory Rest Break – Drivers will not be permitted to drive if 8 hours have passed since they have taken a rest break of 30 minutes or more. Off-Duty in A Parked CMV or Passenger Seat – The rule allow drivers to record time spent in a parked CMV as off-duty time. Also, team drivers would be permitted to record up to 2 hours of time spent in the passenger seat of a CMV in operation as off-duty time, if it is just before or after an 8 hour sleeper berth period. However, off-duty time does NOT extend a driver’s 14 hour driving window. No driving may occur after 14 consecutive hours coming on-duty. Egregious Violations – A driver who exceeds, and/or a motor carrier that allows a driver to exceed, the driving time limit by 3 hours or more will be considered to have committed an egregious violation and be subject to the maximum civil penalties of $2,700 for drivers and $11,000 for motor carriers for each offense.


More information, including Q&A, a copy of the rule, and a comparison chart summarizing key changes, is available through FMCSA’s website at .


MMTA will be participating in a conference call with the American Trucking Associations on Friday, December 23, to discuss the industry’s response. More information will be forwarded as it becomes known.

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