The Hours of Service (HOS) regulations are issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to regulate the number of hours truck drivers are working and the time spent resting between driving shifts. Learn more about the regulations:
1. All truck drivers and carriers must abide by the HOS regulations. If not, the driver and the carrier may be penalized. Penalties can range from the driver being shut down and having to stop driving until he or she accumulates enough off-duty time to be compliant to fines from the FMCSA, local or state officials. If carriers knowingly allow drivers to violate HOS regulations, they can also face federal criminal penalties.
2. The main goal of the HOS regulations is to reduce the number of accidents or driver mistakes caused by fatigued drivers. The regulations control the number of hours a truck driver can drive before taking a rest period. The HOS regulations also regulate the number of rest hours a driver must have before returning to work.
Drivers must have a period of rest each day. They are required to take a longer period rest on off days.
3. In 2013, the HOS regulations were changed to include a 34-hour rest period with two periods of rest between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. among other regulations. In December 2014, the 34 restart rule was suspended. The main issue with the 2013 rule change was it took longer to get the product from shipper to receiver. The new regulations caused trucking capacity shortages. It was also argued by carriers the new regulations increased risk by forcing the drivers to operate during busier hours.
Since the 2013 regulations have been suspended, drivers are now able to take their 34-hour rest period during any time period, not only from 1 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you have questions about the HOS regulations, please contact us.