Citizens and attorneys advocating for change through education, awareness, and legislation.

Legislative Initiatives

Hours of Service Regulations and Fatigue

Commercial truck drivers work long hours under physically demanding conditions. Ensuring that drivers get enough rest is a critical component of truck safety. Thus the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has Hours of Service (HOS) regulations.

Commercial truckers transporting property (the rules for passenger trucks are a bit different) are subject to daily and weekly limits on the number of hours they’re permitted to work. After exhausting these limits, drivers are required to spend a specified period of consecutive hours off duty.

Revised Hours of Service Regulations

FMCSA’s new HOS final rule reduces excessively long work hours that increase both the risk of fatigue-related crashes and long-term health problems for drivers. The previous 2003 HOS rule shortened the driving window to 14 consecutive hours and increased the off-duty period from 8 to 10 hours, but increased driving time from 10 to 11 hours and allowed drivers to restart their duty time calculations whenever they took at least 34 consecutive hours off. The new rule prohibits a driver from driving if more than 8 hours have passed since the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper berth break of at least 30 minutes. It also limits the use of the restart to once a week which, on average, will cut the maximum work week from 82 to 70 hours. The new rule was effective February 27, 2012 and companies were required to comply by July 1, 2013.

Read the new rule.