FMCSA Proposes New Pilot Program To Provide Commercial Drivers Additional Hours Of Service Flexibility
On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator (FMCSA) announced a new proposed pilot program for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to evaluate two additional options for splitting sleeper berth periods – a 6/4 split and a 5/5 split.
During the proposed pilot program, participating drivers would have the option to split their 10 hours of sleeper berth time into two periods, provided that the two periods provide a combined rest amount of at least 10 hours in length.
When operating under the pilot program exemption, drivers would be expected to split their sleeper berth time into two periods such that neither period is less than four hours in length; however, drivers would be free to choose whether or not to operate under the exemption based on their schedule.
Carriers and drivers desiring to participate would apply to FMCSA for acceptance in the proposed pilot program.
Both motor carriers and organized labor have supported efforts to explore additional options, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, who stated that “the majority of Teamster team drivers…indicated they preferred having more flexibility in the time that they can obtain restorative rest periods.”
The Federal Register notice will have a 60-day comment period.