New Hours-of-Service Safety Regulations to Reduce Truck Driver Fatigue Begin Today

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that new federal regulations designed to improve safety for the motoring public by reducing truck driver fatigue took full effect today, July 1, 2013.

“Safety is our highest priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “These rules make common sense, data-driven changes to reduce truck driver fatigue and improve safety for every traveler on our highways and roads.”

Trucking companies were provided 18 months to adopt the new hours-of-service rules for truck drivers. First announced in December 2011 by FMCSA, the rules limit the average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours to ensure that all truck operators have adequate rest. Only the most extreme schedules will be impacted, and more than 85 percent of the truck driving workforce will see no changes.

Working long daily and weekly hours on a continuing basis is associated with chronic fatigue, a high risk of crashes, and a number of serious chronic health conditions in drivers. It is estimated that these new safety regulations will save 19 lives and prevent approximately 1,400 crashes and 560 injuries each year.

“These fatigue-fighting rules for truck drivers were carefully crafted based on years of scientific research and unprecedented stakeholder outreach,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “The result is a fair and balanced approach that will result in an estimated $280 million in savings from fewer large truck crashes and $470 million in savings from improved driver health. Most importantly, it will save lives.”

FMCSA‘s new hours-of-service final rule:

    • Limits the maximum average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours, a decrease from the current maximum of 82 hours;

 

    • Allows truck drivers who reach the maximum 70 hours of driving within a week to resume if they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights when their body clock demands sleep the most – from 1-5 a.m., and;

 

  • Requires truck drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.

The final rule retains the current 11-hour daily driving limit and 14-hour work day.

Companies and drivers that commit egregious violations of the rule could face the maximum penalties for each offense. Trucking companies and passenger carriers that allow drivers to exceed driving limits by more than three hours could be fined $11,000 per offense, and the drivers themselves could face civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense.

Further information, including “Hours-of-Service Logbook Examples,” is available on FMCSA‘s web site at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/HOS.

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One thought on “New Hours-of-Service Safety Regulations to Reduce Truck Driver Fatigue Begin Today

  1. George Baisden

    Personally the new Hos rules are retarded and very generalized as to where people are individuals. What I am saying is that I may be physically able to drive more daily/nightly than someone else. I’ve always worked long hours in shops, the United States Marine Corps, and as a driver.. I know my body and my limits. Some days I can go 11hrs non stop but others I can’t get 150 miles with out a break.. but the biggest thing is the way the fmcsa has reformed the 34hr reset. I don’t care for this for many reasons 1st my body would rather sleep by day, second is I’ve had weeks in the past where I have had multiple resets due to lack of freight, breakdowns, home time and more, even just because I had exhausted my 70 in 3.5days. So to mandate the reset that way is wrong. You should spend the time spent on this junk doing something productive with my tax dollars like raising the truck speed limits in California. Basically I deal with the 30min lunch break but the reset part is dumb.

    Reply

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