The announcement came after an ATA meeting with FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. The exemption for all short-haul drivers is effective August 2, 2013.
A recent U.S. Court of Appeals decision muddied the waters over the definition of short haul. The court's ruling was unclear about whether the exemption from the mandatory break applied to both CDL and non-CDL short-haul drivers. Read about the definition controversy in this blog post.
What's the bottom line? FMCSA will cease enforcement of the HOS mandatory 30-minute break against short-haul operations. Click here to read the one-page FMCSA enforcement policy.
The enforcement policy, in part, reads:
Effective August 2, 2013, FMCSA will no longer enforce 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii) against any driver that qualifies for either of the “short haul operations” exceptions outlined in 49 CFR 395.1(e)(1) or (2). The Agency requests that State and local enforcement agencies also refrain from enforcing the 30-minute rest break against these drivers. Specifically, the following drivers would not be subject to the 30-minute break requirement:
FMCSA will also be initiating a rulemaking to include text in the HOS regulations noting that the 30 minute break provisions do not apply to short haul drivers.
According to Don Jerrell, HNI's transportation rules expert, this announcement should put to rest the last bit of controversy surrounding the Hours of Service rules, which went into effect July 1. The only other outstanding issue is funding for the law, which is in the hands of legislators.