FMCSA Personal Conveyance New Rule explained
ELD mandate came into effect on Dec 18th and brought the biggest change in the trucking industry in more than 20 years. However, on May 31st the news of new FMCSA Personal Conveyance rule stated that a driver can log off duty driving to the nearest safe heaven in the event of customer detention causing him to violate his 14 hour clock.
Here are the exact words from the FMCSA website.
Time spent traveling to a nearby, reasonable, safe location to obtain required rest after loading or unloading. The time driving under personal conveyance must allow the driver adequate time to obtain the required rest in accordance with minimum off-duty periods under 49 CFR 395.3(a)(1) (property-carrying vehicles) or 395.5(a) (passenger-carrying vehicles) before returning to on-duty driving, and the resting location must be the first such location reasonably available.
That would mean that a driver won't be prisoner of HOS. Often happens that a truck is still at a dock and the 14 hour clock is finished. That put a lot of stress on drivers because they were between a rock and a hard place. DOT clock is telling them to stop, but the customer is kicking them out of the facility. With the new FMCSA Personal Conveyance they can move to the nearest safe location legally.
Drivers can also use extension on their 14 hour hour workday to manage their delays on the road or pickup at delivery by using the 8/2 provision. However, this is not a silver bullet, since different people have different driving job and personal habits.
You can read here about how Hours of Service work.
You can read about DOT regulations in cases of ELD malfunction here.