Kentucky Injury Lawyers

FMCSA Enacts Break Time Exemption for Short-Range Truck Drivers

Published on Aug 13, 2013 at 11:20 am in Trucking Accident.

Truck drivers who travel no more than 100 miles will be able to skip the 30-minute rest break required of other truckers under a new exemption recently announced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

The change went into effect on August 2. It was a response to a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which struck down the 30-minute break provision for drivers who traveled less than 150 miles from their home terminals. All other commercial truck drivers must obey the 30-minute break requirement, and all drivers must obey other Hours-of-Service (HOS) requirements.

The break must be taken within the first eight hours of a driver’s 14-hour-maximum shift. Drivers may not be required to do any other work during their breaks, with the exception of hazardous materials carriers, who may be required to stay with their cargo during their breaks, but they cannot be required to do any other work during their break.

Because truck driver fatigue is a major cause of truck accidents, experienced Kentucky truck accident attorneys closely follow any changes to the HOS requirements. Short-range haulers will still be expected to follow other HOS rules, such as limiting their driving to 11 hours per day, spending a maximum of 14 hours per day on duty, and limiting their driving to 60 or 70 hours per work week, with a 34-hour “restart” period that meets FMCSA requirements.