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Auto Transport >> Transport Blog

Thursday, January 05, 2012

U.S. DOT’s action to assure Truck Drivers Safety behind the Wheel

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a final rule that involves the latest research in driver fatigue to make sure that the truck drivers are getting the rest they need to operate safely on the road.

The new rule by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) revises the hours-of-service (HOS) safety requirements for commercial truck drivers. FMCSA logo
"Trucking is a difficult job, and a big rig can be deadly when a driver is tired and overworked," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

He also says that "this final rule will help in preventing fatigue-related truck crashes and save lives. Truck drivers deserve a work environment that allows them to perform their jobs safely."

"With robust input from all areas of the trucking community, coupled with the latest scientific research, we carefully crafted a rule acknowledging that when truckers are rested, alert and focused on safety, roadways will be safer" says FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro.

According to the old rule, truck drivers could work on an average of up to 82 hours in a week whereas the new rule insists that the drivers should work only 70 hours in a week.

In addition, truck drivers should not drive 8 hours continuously without taking a break and they should be permitted to take the 30-minutes break whenever they need rest during the eight-hour window.

No change has been implemented in the current 11-hour daily driving limit. FMCSA’s analysis on the difficulties in driving 11 hours will be continued.

The rule tells that truck drivers who maximize their weekly work hours should take rest for at least two nights.

an accident caused by an auto transporter affected by sleep apnea
This rest requirement comes as a part of the rule's "34-hour restart" provision that permit drivers to restart their work’s week clock by taking at least 34 consecutive hour’s off-duty.

The final rule allows drivers to use the restart provision only once during a seven-day period.

Companies and drivers who violate the rule could face the maximum penalties for each offense.

Trucking companies that allow drivers to exceed the 11-hour driving limit by 3 or more hours could be fined $11,000 per offense, and the drivers themselves could face civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense.

Commercial truck drivers and companies must comply with the HOS final rule by July 1, 2013 which is available on the web at

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posted by All America Auto Transport @ 1:16 AM permanent link  

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