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FMCSA overrules California’s meal and rest break regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted petitions submitted by the American Trucking Associations and the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association requesting a determination that the state of California’s Meal and Rest Break Rules (MRB Rules) are preempted under 49 USC 31141 as applied to property-carrying commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers covered by the FMCSA’s hours of service regulations.

Federal law provides for preemption of state laws on CMV safety that are additional to or more stringent than federal regulations if they:

(1) Have no safety benefit.

(2) Are incompatible with federal regulations.

(3) Would cause an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce.

The FMCSA has determined that the MRB Rules are laws on CMV safety, that they are more stringent than the agency’s hours of service regulations, that they have no safety benefits that extend beyond those already provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, that they are incompatible with the federal hours of service regulations, and that they cause an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce.

California’s MRB Rules, therefore, are preempted under 49 USC 31141(c).

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