Legislative update from NAW: New federal regulations

Jade West, NAW Senior Vice President-Government Relations

Two items of interest to fleet, transportation and/or operations managers of wholesale distribution companies:

New federal regulations went into effect prohibiting the use of hand-held cell phones by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV) in interstate commerce on January 3, 2012.

According to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, “Drivers who violate the restriction will face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for multiple offenses.”  Further, employers “that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving will face a maximum penalty of $11,000.”

To view this new rule promulgated by the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), click here.

To review a helpful FMCSA document titled “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) — Ban on Hand Held Cellular Phones,” visit the FMCSA site.

As you know, the new regulation follows the promulgation in September 2010 by FMCSA and last February by PHMSA of regulations banning texting by drivers operating CMVs. To view the texting ban rule which went into effect on October 27, 2010, click here.

Changes to the federal Hours of Service regulations

On July 1, 2013, changes to the federal Hours of Service regulations will go into effect. (The Hours of Service regulation’s new definition of “on-duty time” will go into effect on February 27, 2012.) In addition to the on-duty time definition, the new Hours of Service regulations affect rest breaks and the 34-hour re-start period.

To view the new Hours of Service rule and/or several helpful documents related to it, please go to the FMCSA website.

To see a summary of the differences between the current HOS Rule and the new HOS final rule, go to the New Hours-of-Service Final Rule information page.


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