The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says these modifications give truck drivers better flexibility when they operate their trucks or their buses during their work day.
Jim Mullen, Acting Administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says they have heard from thousands of truck drivers across the country saying a change was needed.
“For quite some time we’ve been hearing from truck drivers that the current hours of service rules are too rigid, so they’re essentially running against the clock all day on delivering their loads and the goods across the country,” Jim Mullen, Acting Administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, said.
Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced modernized changes to the ‘hours of service rules’ for truck drivers.
Truck drivers who worked 14 hour shifts had to take a 30 minute break at the eighth hour.
Now, drivers can choose when to take those breaks.
“Instead of sitting in rush hour traffic or driving in those types of adverse conditions they can get off the road, take a break, their clock stops, on their work day and then they can get back on the road when it’s safer, not only for them under the conditions, but they are less fatigued,” Mullen, said.
Modifications were also made to rules for commericals drivers licenses to avoid a truck driver worker shortage.
“Individuals whose CDLs would have otherwise expired during the shutdown, we took regulatory relief to make sure that those expiration dates were extended until we got out of this pandemic and DMVs started to open up,” Mullen, said.
The testing can now be monitored remotely, instead of inside the trucks, to help bring drivers on board during the health crisis.
Mullen says this will help avoid a driver shortage during the pandemic.