Change in 30-Minute Break Rule Lowers HOS Violations

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9 Dec 2020

A new study has revealed the change in the 30-minute break rule is decreasing Hours of Service (HOS) violations by a vast percentage. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published the Final Hours of Service (HOS) Rule on September 29, 2020. The study was conducted 30 days prior and after the rule went into effect from a sample of 30,000 drivers.

The Change

The majority of HOS violations documented, before the change in rule was published, were for the 30-minute break. Before the change, drivers were required to take a 30-minute break within the first 8 hours of being on-duty, not actual drive time. The break had to be taking in an off-duty status. Now, the break must be taken within the first 8 hours of drive time. The change in rule also allows drivers to count their break with status’ of on-duty not driving, sleeper berth, or off-duty.

Decrease in HOS Violations

Once the change went into effect, HOS violations declined by 80 percent from September 29, 2020 to October 28, 2020. The main contributing factor is because drivers now have the discretion to determine how they want to utilize their break. This is what the study anticipated to happen with the changes.

The study also evaluated how drivers would utilize the change to the split-sleeper berth provision. Originally, a driver had to have a minimum 8-hour break to pause their on-duty status. The other 2-hour break would count against their 14-hour driving time. Drivers would then have to go off-duty for 10 hours to restart their times. The change now has a 7-hour minimum break and allows the shorter break time to not count against the 14-hour driving window. The amount of drivers who make use of the split-sleeper berth provision has now increased by 33 percent.

More Information

For more information on how the change could effect your company’s operation, please contact one of our Client Service Representatives at (936) 632-1925.

You can read the full article on the CCJ website.