FMCSA clarifies sleeper berth rule

| 10/7/2003

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration made some technical amendments and editorial corrections to its HOS rule as it applies to sleeper berth time. They were posted on the Federal Register Sept. 30. According to FMCSA, the changes were added to improve clarity and correct editorial errors.

One clarification applies to the part of the rule prohibiting driving after the end of the 14th hour after coming on-duty and following 10 consecutive hours off-duty. Off-duty time is included in calculating the 14th hour since coming on-duty.

"The only exception is sleeper berth time," according to the document. "When taken in two periods, each of which must be at least two hours long, sleeper berth time does not count toward the 14-hour limit," according to the FMCSA.

"The agency is therefore amending [the rule] to clarify that drivers and motor carriers are required to count on-duty time, off-duty time not spent in a sleeper berth and sleeper berth time of less than two hours toward the 14-hour limit," the document stated.

Another clarification stated that any two sleeper-berth periods totaling 10 hours may be used in calculating the 10-hour limit, and sleeper-berth periods not used in calculating the 10-hour limit will be included in calculating the 14-hour limit.