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Analysis looks at top 10 states for “hours of service” violations

New York was reportedly not among the top ten toughest states for hours of service violations, according to a recent analysis by Commercial Carrier Journal. Many of the states which made the list were in the Midwest—states like South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Indiana, and Kansas—though some western states were also found to have a significant number of hours of service violations.

The hours of service rules, for readers who aren’t familiar with them, are safety rules enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Most commercial vehicle drivers are bound to follow the rules. A commercial motor vehicle, according to the administration, includes vehicles which meet certain specifications, such as: weighing more than 10,000 pounds; designed to be used to transport 16 or more passengers not for compensation; designed to e used to transport at least 9 passengers for compensation; or which transport hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards. 

The hours of service rules vary slightly depending on whether the vehicle is transporting property or passengers. For property-carrying passengers, the hours of service rules can be summarized like this:

  • No more than 11 hours of driving after consecutive hours off duty;
  • No driving at all after 14 consecutive hours on duty;
  • 30 minute rest break required after eight consecutive hours on duty to continue driving;
  • No driving after 60/70 hours on duty over 7/8 consecutive days. The work week may be restarted by taking at least 34 consecutive hours off duty;
  • Drivers who use a sleeper berth are required to take 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth as well as 2 additional consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty or some combination of the two.

In a future post, we’ll continue looking at the hours of service rules and how they can come up in personal injury litigation.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Hours of Service, Accessed August 10, 2016. 

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