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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

FMCSA Grants Petitions to Ensure Safe and Uniform Rest Rules in California for Truck Drivers

Friday, December 21st, 2018

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced it is granting petitions to preempt the State of California’s meal and rest break rules, which differ from current Federal hours-of-service regulations.  

FMCSA’s granting of these petitions is in response to widespread concern from drivers, concerned citizens, and industry stakeholders.  In 1996, Congress preempted states from enacting or enforcing policies “related to a price, route, or service of any motor carrier.”  California’s law is incompatible with Federal regulations and causes a disruption in interstate commerce.  In addition, the confusing and conflicting requirements are overly burdensome for drivers and reduce productivity, increasing costs for consumers. Additionally, safety issues have likely resulted from the lack of adequate parking solutions for trucks in the State.

“Safety is FMCSA’s top priority and having uniform rules is a key component to increasing safety for our truck drivers,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.  “During the public comment period, FMCSA heard directly from drivers, small business owners, and industry stakeholders that California’s meal and rest rules not only pose a safety risk, but also lead to a loss in productivity and ultimately hurt American consumers.”

In all, over 700 public comments were submitted to the Federal Register docket regarding the petitions. The comments in the Federal Register docket can be viewed here: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMCSA-2018-0304.

A copy of the determination can be found here: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/californias-meal-and-rest-break-rules-preemption-determination.

Information regarding current Federal HOS regulations can be viewed here: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/summary-hours-service-regulations.