FMCSA Grants Exemption For HazMat Drivers


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted motor carriers transporting security-sensitive hazardous materials requiring a security plan, a two-year exemption from the Federal hours-of-service regulations that prohibit commercial motor vehicle drivers from driving a truck, if more than 8 consecutive hours have passed since the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of 30 minutes or more.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administation (PHMSA) regulations normally require a driver to attend such hazmat cargo while their vehicle is stopped, which is an on-duty activity under the hours-of-service rules. Exempt drivers may now count their on-duty attendance of hazmat cargo toward the required 30-minute rest break requirement provided they perform no other on-duty activity.

The American Trucking Association (ATA) filed this exemption request on behalf of all motor carriers whose drivers transport hazardous materials loads subject to the PHMSA security plan requirement.

This exemption is limited to drivers transporting hazmat loads requiring placarding under 49 CFR part 172, subpart F, or select agents and toxins identified in § 172.800(b)(13) that do not require placarding, and who have filed security plans requiring constant attendance of hazardous materials in accordance with §§ 172.800-804.

This exemption is limited to motor carriers that have a “satisfactory” safety rating or are “unrated”; motor carriers with “conditional” or “unsatisfactory” safety ratings are prohibited from utilizing this exemption.

Drivers must have a copy of the exemption document in their possession while operating under the terms of the exemption and must present it to law enforcement officials upon request.