Federal Trucking Rules and Regulations

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted rules and regulations that truck drivers and trucking must follow.

truck1These rules and regulations were enacted because of the tragic consequences that occur when large trucks, weighing tens of thousands of pounds, collide with much smaller vehicles.

The primary goal of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 was to improve highway safety by ensuring that drivers of large trucks and buses are qualified to operate those vehicles and to remove unsafe and unqualified drivers from the highways. The Act kept the right to issue a driver’s license with each state; however it created minimum national standards that each state must meet when licensing commercial motor vehicles such as large semi trucks.

Subsequently, in July 2013, the US DOT and FMCSA passed an hours of service drivers bill to address truck driver fatigue which is a leading cause of deadly truck crashes.  This safety-focused rule limits the use of the 34-hour restart provision to once every 168 hours.  The rule requires that truck drivers using the 34-hour restart provision two restart periods that include 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.  It further mandates that truckers must have a break of at least 30 minutes, at a time of their choosing, sometime within the previous 8 hours.

However, truckers and even trucking companies have been known to put profits ahead of safety or simply fail to follow the law.  This comes as at significant price to others on the roadway.

The complete code for regulation of federal regulations for commercial drivers license standards, requirements and penalties can be found at 49 CFR 383.  The stated purpose of this law is to help “reduce or prevent truck and bus accidents, fatalities, and injuries by requiring drivers to have a single commercial motor vehicle driver’s license and by disqualifying drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles in an unsafe manner.”  The law creates strict requirements of commercial vehicle drivers, including but not limited to:

(1) Limitation of only one commercial motor vehicle driver’s license;

(2) Employer and state notification requirements regarding certain convictions;

(4) Rules prohibiting drivers with a suspended license to operate a commercial motor vehicle;

(5) Disqualification and penalties for drivers that have been convicted of criminal offenses and serious traffic violations

(6) New testing and licensing requirements;

(7) Created driver knowledge and skills tests and specific requirements

(10) Created minimum passing scores for States and others to use in driver testing and licensing

If you are involved in commercial truck accident, you need a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer who will fight hard for your rights. For a free and friendly no obligation consultation, call Brent Wieand, an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer that works on a contingency fee at 1-800-481-5206.

Brent practices throughout all of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He is proud to serve Southeastern Pennsylvania including Berks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties, as well as the New Jersey areas of Pennsauken, Gloucester and Camden NJ.