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Comments on U.S. DOE 30-Minute Rest Break Renewal Request

On May 26, 2020, CVSA submitted comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on a request from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for renewal of an existing 30-minute rest break exemption. The current exemption allows U.S. DOE contract drivers who are transporting security-sensitive radioactive materials to satisfy the 30-minute rest break requirement with 30 minutes of “attendance time” where the driver is watching the vehicle but is not performing any other work functions. CVSA’s comments noted that the Alliance has no opposition to the request, as there has not been a negative impact on safety observed by the use of this exemption. However, CVSA noted that the need for this exemption is temporary, as the new hours-of-service (HOS) final rule will address this issue when it goes into effect. As such, CVSA recommended that FMCSA grant the exemption only through the effective date of the final rule. In addition, CVSA requested that FMCSA evaluate the need for this and other 30-minute rest break exemptions once the HOS final rule goes into effect.