Last Monday, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a final regulation codifying a federal appellate court decision invalidating the agency’s attempt to impose hours of service restrictions on short-haul truck drivers. The original rule imposed an eleven hour maximum daily driving limitation, and required a 30-minute break every eight hours.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the overall hours of service rules, but specifically invalidated application of the rule to short-haul drivers, meaning those CDL drivers that operate within 100 miles of their normal work location, and non-CDL drivers working closer than 150 miles. FMCSA previously announced that it would not enforce the new requirement pending conclusion of the litigation. Apparently the agency concluded that it would not seek to renew the rulemaking procedure to try to make this requirement pass legal muster.
Motor carriers with short-haul commercial drivers can continue to schedule such work as has been the case in the past.