On December 27, the Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued final regulations changing maximum driving hours calculations for commercial drivers. Last December, FMCSA proposed substantial changes to the hours of service rules, including possibly reducing the current eleven hour maximum driving time per day to ten hours.
Based on widespread industry objections, the final rule preserves the current eleven hour maximum. Drivers will still have the current fourteen hour window within which to drive up to eleven hours per day. The rules decrease maximum weekly driving time from 82 to 70 hours per week, by changing the restart period under which drivers must rest before beginning work again. A high amount of driving time in one week will require substantial down time the following week.
The new rules also require that drivers take a 30-minute break from driving at least every eight hours. The final regulations take effect on February 27, 2012, and can be found here.