DOT Rules On Petition, Saying California Meal & Rest Breaks Don’t Apply To Hazmat Haulers
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration ruled on a petition submitted by the National Tank Truck Carriers Association, saying California’s state laws requiring employers to provide periodic meal and rest breaks don’t apply, but only for drivers hauling hazardous materials and for motor carriers with security plans requiring constant driver attendance.
The agency finds that the California meal and rest break requirements create an unnecessary delay in the transportation of hazardous materials. In addition, California’s rules create compliance incompatibilities with respect to operators carrying explosive materials because it is not possible to simultaneously comply with the off-duty requirement of the California rule and federal safety requirements.
The American Trucking Associations and the Western States Trucking Association have been asking Congress and federal regulators to intervene and rule that federal laws governing hours of service override state laws. WSTA filed a petition recently asking FMCSA to waive the California requirements for drivers who haul oversized and overweight loads, but the agency has not yet issued a decision on that request.