Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has changed the hours-of-service (HOS) rules. This change, which will take effect Jan. 4, 2004, is the first time the HOS rules have been altered since 1939.

The new rules allow drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to drive 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty. Drivers may not drive after the 14th hour of coming on duty and may not drive after being on-duty for 60 hours in one seven-consecutive-day period. The on-duty cycle may be restarted whenever a driver takes a minimum of 34 consecutive hours off-duty. The rules make an exception for short-haul drivers who generally return to their starting point in one work shift. These truckers may work for 16 consecutive hours. These rules apply to interstate travel only.