The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced new regulatory guidance clarifying the longstanding 150 air-miles hours-of-service agricultural commodity exemption as well as providing additional explanatory detail of the “personal conveyance” provision.
“Due to input from commercial vehicle stakeholders and the public, the Department has taken steps to provide greater clarity and flexibility regarding the intent and effect of these regulations, for the agricultural and other sectors,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.
FMCSA published Federal Register notices proposing regulatory guidance for the transportation of agricultural commodities and the use of personal conveyance in December, 2017 and requested public comment. FMCSA is providing clarity on the use of the agricultural exemption and personal conveyance to both industry and law enforcement along with providing as much flexibility as possible for the industry, while maintaining safety.
“We are dedicated to finding effective solutions to challenges, exploring new opportunities for innovation and constantly seeking ways to improve,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.
In all, nearly 850 public comments were submitted to the Federal Register dockets on the proposed guidance pertaining to the transportation of agricultural commodities as well as on the personal conveyance provision.
The new regulatory guidance is developed within a clear, questions-and-answers format and explains the 150 air-mile radius agricultural commodity exemption and how the “source” of the commodity is determined. For a copy of this guidance, see: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ag-commodity-guidance.
Likewise, the new regulatory guidance outlines – and includes numerous examples – under what circumstances a commercial motor vehicle driver may operate the truck or bus for personal conveyance. For a copy of this guidance, see: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/personal-conveyance-guidance.