FMCSA has published new Hours of Service Rules

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today published a final rule updating hours of service (HOS) rules to increase safety on America’s roadways by updating existing regulations for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers.  

 

“America’s truckers are doing a heroic job keeping our supply chains open during this unprecedented time and these rules will provide them greater flexibility to keep America moving,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

 

“The Department of Transportation and the Trump Administration listened directly to the concerns of truckers seeking rules that are safer and have more flexibility—and we have acted. These updated hours of service rules are based on the thousands of comments we received from the American people. These reforms will improve safety on America’s roadways and strengthen the nation’s motor carrier industry,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen. 

 

First adopted in 1937, FMCSA’s hours of service rules specify the permitted operating hours of commercial drivers. In 2018, FMCSA authored an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to receive public comment on portions of the HOS rules to alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers while maintaining safety on our nation’s highways and roads.  Subsequently, in August 2019, the Agency published a detailed proposed rule which received an additional 2,800 public comments. 

 

Based on the detailed public comments and input from the American people, FMCSA’s final rule on hours of service offers four key revisions to the existing HOS rules:

 

  • The Agency will increase 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.

 

  • The Agency will modify the 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.

 

  • The Agency will modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.

 

  • The Agency will change the 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.

FMCSA’s final rule is crafted to improve safety on the nation’s roadways. The rule changes do not increase driving time and will continue to prevent CMV operators from driving for more than eight consecutive hours without at least a 30-minute break.

 

In addition, FMCSA’s rule modernizing hours of service regulations is estimated to provide nearly $274 million in annualized cost savings for the U.S. economy and American consumers. The trucking industry is a key component of the national economy, employing more than seven million people and moving 70 percent of the nation’s domestic freight.

 

The new hours of service rule will have an implementation date of 120 days after publication in the Federal Register. 

 

The complete final rule is available here: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/hours-service-drivers-final-rule

 

 

 

The FMCSA announces the start of the Crash Preventability Determination Program (CPDP).  Under this program, if you have an eligible crash that occurred on or after August 1, 2019, you may submit a Request for Data Review (RDR) with the required police accident report and other supporting documents, photos, or videos through the Agency’s DataQswebsite.

On July 27, 2017, FMCSA announced a Crash Preventability Demonstration Program to evaluate the preventability of eight categories of crashes through submissions of Requests for Data Review to its national data correction system known as DataQs.  On August 5, 2019, based on experiences with the demonstration program, FMCSA proposed a new CPDP with a streamlined process.  Based on comments received in response to the August 2019 proposal, FMCSA established the CPDP which will expand the types of eligible crashes, modify the Safety Measurement System to exclude crashes with not preventable determinations from the prioritization algorithm and note the not preventable determinations in the Pre-Employment Screening Program. 

The following crash types are eligible for participation in the program:

Struck in the Rear type of crash when the CMV was struck:

  • in the rear; or
  • on the side at the rear.

Wrong Direction or Illegal Turns type of crash when the CMV was struck:

  • by a motorist driving in the wrong direction; or
  • by another motorist in a crash when a driver was operating in the wrong direction; or
  • by a vehicle that was making a U-turn or illegal turn.

Parked or Legally Stopped type of crash when the CMV was struck:

  • while legally stopped at a traffic control device (e.g., stop sign, red light or yield); or while parked, including while the vehicle was unattended.

Failure of the other vehicle to Stop type of crash when the CMV was struck:

  • by a vehicle that did not stop or slow in traffic; or
  • by a vehicle that failed to stop at a traffic control device.

Under the Influence type of crash when the CMV was struck:

  • by an individual under the influence (or related violation, such as operating while intoxicated), according to the legal standard of the jurisdiction where the crash occurred; or
  • by another motorist in a crash where an individual was under the influence (or related violation such as operating while intoxicated), according to the legal standard of the jurisdiction where the crash occurred.

Medical Issues, Falling Asleep or Distracted Driving type of crash when the CMV was struck:

  • by a driver who experienced a medical issue which contributed to the crash; or
  • by a driver who admitted falling asleep or admitted distracted driving (e.g., cellphone, GPS, passengers, other).

Cargo/Equipment/Debris or Infrastructure Failure type of crash when the CMV:

  • was struck by cargo, equipment or debris (e.g., fallen rock, fallen trees, unidentifiable items in the road); or crash was a result of an infrastructure failure.

Animal Strike type of crash when the CMV:

  • struck an animal

Suicide type of crash when the CMV:

  • struck an individual committing or attempting to commit suicide

Rare or Unusual type of crash when the CMV:

  • Was involved in a crash type that seldom occurs and does not meet another eligible crash type (e.g., being struck by an airplane or skydiver or being struck by a deceased driver).

 For more information on the Crash Preventability Determination Program, please visit:

For information on the previous Demonstration Program, please visit:

Crash Preventability Demonstration Program

 

WHAT IS THE BIG PAYBACK?  The Big Payback is an exciting 24-hour window when Middle Tennessee comes together to contribute to the life-changing work of local nonprofit organizations. It was created by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee as a way to increase philanthropy in the 40 counties of Middle Tennessee and to galvanize the community to “give back” in a big way. This giving day shines a spotlight on LOCAL giving and creates a new sense of energy around generosity. Click here for information about the Big Payback.

We will make sure this  link is live at 06:00 PM on Tuesday, May 6, 2020!  Ask your friends and family to donate as well.  All the donations will go toward the Foundation to support our Road Team, Teens and Trucks and the scholarship fund for Juniors and Seniors attending Tennessee colleges.  The date this year is May 6, 2020.  Last year we only raised $8,560 through this Community Foundation one-day event. We can do better than that!! As little as a $10-dollar pledge from each of you will make a huge difference and allow our Foundation to provide more scholarships and reach more of your young drivers in an effort to save teen lives in Tennessee.

Thank you for your interest in giving to Tennessee Trucking Foundation (TTF). We could not continue the important work we are doing without the generous donations of individuals and companies, and donations of all sizes are appreciated.

If you prefer to make a donation directly to the Foundation at any time, you can make a donation by cash, check or credit card, please call 615-777-2882 or mail a check made payable to Tennessee Trucking Foundation to:

Tennessee Trucking Foundation
4531 Trousdale Dr.
Nashville, TN 37204

 

TENNESSEE – April 9, 2020 – The Tennessee Trucking Association proudly announces $11 thousand in grant funds to support the Teens & Trucks Highway Safety Education Program graciously funded by State Farm. Funds will be used to purchase pedal karts for use with Fatal Vision impairment goggles at teen events across the state.  

State Farm is the largest home and auto insurance provider in the U.S. and holds a mission to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. For 98 years, State Farm has been committed to giving back in their communities where they live and work. State Farm’s values support building safer, stronger, and better educated communities. State Farm certainly are good neighbors always lending a helping hand (www.statefarm.com).

“Our thanks to State Farm for their consistent, ongoing support of our Foundation’s Road Team Captains! The funds they contribute allow our Captains to educate Tennesseans of all ages on how to safely share the roads with commercial vehicles,” said TTA’s President and CEO Dave Huneryager. “We sincerely appreciate you, State Farm!”

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Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Summary of Changes to the Guidance:

Below are changes as of March 21, 2020

  • Updated cleaning and disinfection guidance
  • Updated best practices for conducting social distancing
  • Updated strategies and recommendations that can be implemented now to respond to COVID-19
CDC Statement on Self-Quarantine Guidance for Greater New York City Transportation and Delivery Workers

When we issued the self-quarantining guidance for greater New York City residents leaving this area, it was out of an abundance of caution to help protect U.S. areas with lower levels of COVID-19 spread. In line with our recommendations for other essential critical infrastructure workers, this guidance does not apply to critical transportation and delivery workers who are desperately needed for New York residents to continue their daily lives and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Truck drivers and other people driving into the city to deliver needed supplies should stay in their vehicles as much as possible as supplies are loaded and unloaded, avoid being within 6 feet of others as much as possible when they exit their vehicles, and move to electronic receipts if possible. If these drivers need to spend the night in the greater New York City area, they should stay in their hotel rooms or sleeper cab, when available, to the extent possible and continue to practice social distancing. Drivers who take these precautions should not need to self-quarantine when they leave the greater New York area, unless self-quarantine is recommended by state or local officials for all residents in the areas where they live.

FMCSA just released an additional round of Emergency Declaration Frequently Asked Questions, covering important questions such as the inclusion of feed under the exemption and other products. 

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/emergency/expanded-emergency-declaration-under-49-cfr-ss-39023-no-2020-002-relating-covid-19

Frequently Asked Questions Related to the FMCSA Emergency Declaration Part 2: 03/25/2020

Note: This guidance document does not have the force and effect of law and is not meant to bind the public in any way. This guidance is intended only to provide clarity regarding existing requirements under the law.

Is wood pulp covered under the expanded emergency declaration?

Wood pulp is covered if it is being used as a precursor to one of the essential items listed in the exemption as follows: (1) medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19; (2) supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants or (3) food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores;

Are the raw materials used to manufacture bleach, disinfectants, hand sanitizers and similar items covered under the expanded emergency declaration?

Yes, these items and their precursors are covered as “supplies necessary for community safety, sanitation and community prevention of. . .COVID 19.”

Does the Declaration cover packaging for food — for example, produce containers?

Yes, packaging is covered as a precursor necessary to the production and transportation of products covered under the emergency exemption.

Are feed and fertilizer covered under the emergency declaration?

Yes, both are covered as precursors to essential items.

Is pet food covered under the emergency declaration?

No, pet food is not covered.

The emergency declaration states that after completed work under the declaration and returning to normal operations, a commercial vehicle driver must take 10 hours off. What if there is nowhere at the location for the driver to park?

The driver may proceed to the nearest reasonable, safe location to obtain the required 10 hours of rest.

Is the time spent driving to pick up a truck regulated as on duty time?

No. Time spent travelling to work in a personal vehicle does not meet the definition of on duty time in 49 CFR 395.2.

 

A few have requested a template of a letter/notice for drivers to carry in their cabs that spells out “Truck Drivers have been designated as essential critical infrastructure workers by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency”.

Be advised, the use of this or any other similar type letter is NOT required anywhere, but it may come in handy for a driver especially when dealing with law enforcement personnel not overly familiar with industry practices and trying to enforce something like a local “shelter-in-place” declaration. Again, this is not required by any jurisdiction and it is not a “Get of jail free” type card either.

Feel free to use but be sure to emphasize that this is just an explanation of the industry’s status under the CISA guidance. Keep in mind also, the CISA Guidance is not law so, as best they can, companies and drivers need to work together to keep their drivers aware of the rules, regulations, declarations of jurisdictions in which the vehicle will be traveling. 

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