The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed reform to Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules that will improve safety and flexibility for commercial drivers.

FMCSA’s proposed rule offers five key revisions to existing HOS rules, such as requiring a minimum of a 30-minute break for every eight hours of consecutive driving and allowing drivers to use the “on duty, not driving” status rather than “off duty” status during breaks.

“This proposed rule seeks to enhance safety by giving America’s commercial drivers more flexibility while maintaining the safety limits on driving time,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said.

The agency is proposing to increase safety and flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by tying the break requirement to eight hours of driving time without an interruption for at least 30 minutes and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty/not driving status rather an off-duty status.

FMCSA is encouraging everyone to review and comment on this proposal in the 45-day public comment period.

In 2018, FMCSA authored an advance notice of proposed rule-making to receive public comments on portions of the HOS rules to alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers while maintaining safety on the nation’s highways and roads.  In response, the agency received more than 5,200 public comments.