Following a push from Rep. Kristi Noem, South Dakota truckers, and others, the U.S. Department of Transportation today announced it will reconsider the Obama administration’s hours-of-service regulations, which have placed a significant and unnecessary strain on many small truckers.  

“No one wants to compromise when it comes to safety, but hours-of-service regulations place unnecessary strain on South Dakota trucking operations,” said Noem. “I’m thrilled to see the Department of Transportation offer up an alternative today. This is no home run, but it’s a step in the right direction. I’m hopeful they will listen to the feedback of South Dakota truckers and make the right decision that provides added flexibility for those responsible for moving our food supply.”

The Department of Transportation’s considerations include:

  • Expanding the current 100 air mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, which is consistent with rules for long-haul drivers;
  • Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a driver encounters adverse driving conditions;
  • Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for drivers after 8 hours of continuous driving; and
  • Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10 hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks with sleeper compartments.

In December 2017, Noem co-sponsored legislation that would delay the ELD mandate for two years. In February 2018, Noem sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation to request exemptions for small businesses with exemplary safety records.

Individuals looking to participate in the public comment period can submit feedback until September 20. Comments can be filed here

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