Monday, August 12, 2013

July 2013 CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS)

CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) website updated

The CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) website has been updated with the July 26, 2013 snapshot.  Check your safety assessment now at: or on

July Snapshot Includes Two New Violations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has added two violations to the Safety Measurement System (SMS). One of the violations is based on the new Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations and the other is based on a more detailed description of existing controlled substances and alcohol regulations. Both were implemented in the SMS as of July 1, 2013. If motor carriers have one or both of these violations, they will see them in the July snapshot of their SMS data which was released in early August.

The table below includes descriptions of the new violations, the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) they relate to, and how they are weighted in the SMS.
BASIC Violations Added to the SMS
BASIC Violation Code Description Severity Weight Violation Group Driver-Related (Y/N)
HOS Compliance 395.3(a)(3)(ii) Driving beyond 8-hour limit since the end of the last off-duty or sleeper period of at least 30 minutes

(Note: Does not apply to short haul drivers)
7 Hours Y
Controlled Substances/Alcohol 392.5(a)(3) Driver in possession of intoxicating beverage while on duty or driving 3 Alcohol Possession Y

FMCSA’s new HOS regulation (395.3(a)(3)(ii)) requires drivers to take a 30-minute rest break during the first eight hours of a shift. Based on a court decision, effective August 2, 2013, FMCSA will no longer enforce the 30-minute break provision for drivers that qualify for either of the short haul operations exceptions outlined in 49CFR 395.1(e) or (2). This new regulation and guidance can be found at

Friday, August 9, 2013

Enforcement Policy – Court Decision on the 30-Minute Rest Break Provision


HOS Final Rule

On December 27, 2011 (76 FR 81133), FMCSA published a final rule amending its hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The final rule adopted several changes to the HOS regulations, including a new provision requiring drivers to take a rest break during the work day under certain circumstances. Drivers may drive a CMV only if 8 hours or less have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes. FMCSA did not specify when drivers must take the 30-minute break, but the rule requires that they wait no longer than 8 hours after the last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of that length or longer to take the break. Drivers who already take shorter breaks during the work day could comply with the rule by taking one of the shorter breaks and extending it to 30 minutes. The new requirement took effect on July 1, 2013.

Court Decision

On August 2, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its ruling on the
Hours of Service litigation brought by the American Trucking Associations and Public Citizen. The Court
upheld the 2011 Hours of Service regulations in all aspects except for the 30-minute break provision as it
applies to short haul drivers. While the decision does not officially take effect until the mandate is issued
52 days after the decision (unless a party files a petition for rehearing, either by the panel or en banc, or
moves to stay the mandate pending the filing of a petition for certiorari in the Supreme Court), FMCSA
announces the Agency will immediately cease enforcement of the 30-minute rest break provision of the

HOS rule against short-haul operations.

The Agency requests that its State enforcement partners also cease enforcement of this provision. States that do so will not be found in violation of the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP).


Effective August 2, 2013, FMCSA will no longer enforce 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii) against any driver that
qualifies for either of the “short haul operations” exceptions outlined in 49 CFR 395.1(e)(1) or (2). The
Agency requests that State and local enforcement agencies also refrain from enforcing the 30-minute rest
break against these drivers. Specifically, the following drivers would not be subject to the 30-minute break


  • All drivers (CDL and non-CDL) that operate within 100 air-miles of their normal work reporting 

location and satisfy the time limitations and recordkeeping requirements of 395.1(e)(1).

  • Non-CDL drivers that operate within a 150 air-mile radius of the location where the driver reports 

for duty and satisfy the time limitations and recordkeeping requirements of 395.1(e)(2).

FMCSA will also be initiating a rulemaking to include text in the HOS regulations noting that the 30 minute
break provisions do not apply to short haul drivers.