Mail delivery drivers want 14-hour rule exemption

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The National State Route Mail Contractors Association (NSRMCA), whose members transport mail under contract for the United States Postal Service, has requested an exemption of the 14-hour rule of the FMCSA’s hours-of-service regulations.

NSRMCA requests that mail-carrying drivers have the ability to — after being off duty for eight consecutive hours — choose to be on-duty up to 15 hours in a 24-hour period and drive up to 10 hours. NSRMCA says its drivers typically work in “split-shifts,” breaking their on-duty time up with a nine-hour break between on-duty shifts.

“A typical driver will have worked eight hours, with a nine-hour break during the day between outbound and inbound routes, and a seven-hour overnight break,” according to the request.

According to the exemption, a typical day for a NSRMCA driver starts in the early morning and ends four hours later at the last post office on the route. The return route typically starts nine hours later, and drivers deliver to the central processing facility four hours after that.

NSRMCA says the exemption would reduce operating costs for the postal service and contractors that have contracts with USPS.

The FMCSA is seeking public comment on the request, which will be available for 30 days after publication on the Federal Register. Comments can be made by searching Docket No. FMCSA_FRDOC_0001-1774 at