Short-haul drivers who find that they unexpectedly exceed their daily limits can get relief from enforcement of the 30-minute break requirement.
These drivers are exempt from the break requirement and log preparation as long as they do not go over their distance or time limit.
When, as occasionally happens, they go over the limit they must take the break at the earliest possible time and start a log with a note explaining the circumstance, says the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in a notice to be published Thursday.
There are two kinds of short-haul drivers: those with or without commercial licenses who operate within 100 air miles of their normal reporting location in a 12-hour day, and those who operate without a commercial license within a 150 air-mile radius of where they report for duty.
Sometimes these drivers will unexpectedly exceed their limits, at which point they are no longer exempt from the requirement to take a 30-minute break within 8 hours of driving.
The agency says that in these circumstances, the driver is not in violation of the break rule. He should take the break as soon as he can and prepare a log with the note.