Hours of Service Reminder
The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) puts certain rules and regulations in place to ensure the safety and well-being of drivers on the road, especially commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. One requirement that has been particularly important is hours of service (HOS) for drivers. HOS regulations are designed to keep drivers alert and awake while behind the wheel of their commercial vehicle. Without limitations, drivers could suffer fatigue and other possibly severe health risks.
14 Hour Window
Currently, drivers are allowed a period of 14 consecutive hours of service in a day. During this time, a driver can drive up to 11 hours, but only after they are been off duty for 10 consecutive hours or more.
The 14 hours starts when any kind of work begins. On duty time includes both work for a specific motor carrier or paid work for anyone else. Once a driver reaches the end of the hours of service period, he or she cannot drive again until they have been off duty for 10 consecutive hours. Small breaks, such as lunch or a nap, are included in the 14 hours of driving time. So, regardless of how many breaks a driver takes, driving hours cannot go over 14 consecutive hours.
30 Minute Break
Another rule prohibits a driver from driver eight hours or more without at least a consecutive 30-minute break. This rule has more flexibility for drivers. As long as a driver takes the required 30-minute break during the eight-hour window of driving, this hours of service requirement is met.
Penalties for Hours of Service Noncompliance
Just like any other rule, if hours of service requirements are violated, employers and drivers are at risk of being punished. By exceeding the 11 hour driving limit by three or more hours, an employer could be fined $11,000 and the driver could face civil punishment up to $2,750 for each offense.
The FMCSA puts these regulations in place for the safety of all drivers. With hours of service and the possibility of driver fatigue, it is important for drivers to limit their overall driving and take appropriate breaks. Contact Bobtail Insurance Group for more information! Call BIG at 1-833-4-RIG-INS.