Truckers Told To Give It A Rest


“We have got to get to a point where it is unacceptable to allow a fatal crash with a truck or a bus on our roadway with the public traveling around. We've got to get to zero.”

So said Ann Ferro, head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, as trucking companies approached the July 1, 2013 deadline for compliance with new Hours of Service (HOS) regulations.

Commercial vehicle operators, meanwhile, countered with their own point of view: If the wheels are not turning, we are not earning. And they have taken their argument to the courts.

In the meantime, truckers are required to follow the HOS regulations that took effect July 1, which are designed to ensure they get adequate rest periods to reduce the risk of fatigue-related crashes. According to the new regulations, truck drivers:

  • May not drive if more than eight hours have passed since their last off-duty or sleeping period of at least 30 minutes
  • May drive a maximum of 11 hours following 10 consecutive hours off duty, and may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour on duty. (All time in the vehicle is considered on-duty time, except when using a sleeper berth.)
  • May drive no more than 60 hours in a seven-day period, or 70 hours in an eight-day period.
  • Must have 34 or more consecutive hours off-duty before beginning a seven- or eight-day work period.
  • If they use a sleeper berth, must spend at least eight consecutive hours in the berth, plus another two hours either in the berth or off-duty.

The new regulations may be seen as troublesome by the commercial carrier industry, but for those of us who have to share the road with their big rigs, the rules just might save us from winding up injured in a major vehicle accident.

Posted in Truck Accidents

Tagged Hours of Service regulations, truck accidents