Regulatory Update – May 29, 2020

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Grants Lytx Windshield Mounting Exemption Request
On May 21, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced the approval of an exemption request from Lytx Inc., allowing Lytx’s advanced driver assistance systems to be mounted lower in the windshield on commercial motor vehicles than is currently permitted. The exemption is effective May 21, 2020-May 18, 2025.

FMCSA Grants Laydon Composites Rear Identification and Clearance Lamp Placement Exemption Request
On May 18, 2020, FMCSA announced the approval of an exemption request from Laydon Composites Ltd., allowing motor carriers utilizing Laydon’s OptiTailTM aerodynamic device to have lamps lower than currently allowed. The exemption is effective May 18, 2020-May 19, 2025.

FMCSA Denies PTS Worldwide Sleeper Berth Exemption Request
Also on May 18, 2020, FMCSA announced the denial of PTS Worldwide Inc.’s exemption request. PTS had requested that its drivers be permitted to split the required 10 hours in the sleeper berth into segments of four hours and six hours or five hours and five hours. On Nov. 15, 2019, CVSA submitted comments stating that FMCSA should complete the originally planned split-sleeper-berth pilot program to collect data on the safety impacts of this request before making a determination.

FMCSA Grants Extreme Logistics HOS Exemption Request
Also on May 18, 2020, FMCSA announced the approval of an exemption application from Extreme Logistics LLC allowing the company’s drivers who are staging fireworks shows to exclude sleeper berth and off-duty time from the 14-hour window during the Independence Day period of June 28-July 8 each year. The exemption is effective May 18, 2020-May 19, 2025.

CVSA Active Exemption Tracker
CVSA maintains a list of active exemptions issued by FMCSA. The exemption tracker can be found at under the “Inspections” tab at the top of the page.

CVSA Letters, Petitions and Comments to Rulemakings

CVSA Submits Comments on U.S. DOE 30-Minute Rest Break Renewal Request
On May 26, 2020, CVSA submitted comments to 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.

CVSA Submits Comments on Pronto HOS Exemption Request
On May 20, 2020, CVSA submitted comments to FMCSA on an exemption request from Inc. to allow drivers operating commercial motor vehicles equipped with the Copilot by Pronto advanced driver assistance system be allowed to drive for 13 hours during a 15-hour on-duty period each day. CVSA’s comments expressed support of deployment of proven safety technology but opposed the request as it would increase the likelihood of a driver’s exposure to fatigue and complicate the enforcement process.