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FMCSA opts to keep certain hours-of-service rules unenforced

Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration made a decision regarding some controversial provisions of the federal hours-of-service rules for commercial motor vehicles. The provisions regarded what sort of break a CMV driver had to take to trigger a "restart" for weekly hours-of-service rules. The provisions mandated that this break contain two overnight periods (1 a.m. to 5 a.m.).

These particular hours-of-service rules came into being in 2013. However, in 2014, they were put on suspension.

These provisions have drawn a fair amount of debate. They were intended to help combat drowsy driving among CMV drivers. However, the critics of these rules argued that the provisions had the potential to create problems by forcing trucks into the morning rush hour.

The FMSCA recently opted to abandon these provisions. They made an announcement that these suspended rules will remain unenforced. One wonders what trucking safety impacts the decision to scrap these hours-of-service provisions will have.

As the controversy that surrounded these now-scrapped provisions underscores, many complex safety issues can come up in relation to the federal hours-of-service rules.

Hours-of-service rules also have the potential to raise complex issues in personal injury cases involving truck accidents. For example, complicated and impactful disputes over whether the truck driver and company involved in the crash followed such rules can come up in such cases. When it comes to issues regarding federal regulations and other complex issues that can come up in a truck crash case, victims of big-rig accidents may want the help and guidance of an experienced truck accident lawyer.

Source: Safety+Health, "FMCSA scraps requirement for overnight rest breaks for CMV drivers," March 14, 2017

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