What Is the 60 Hour Rule

What Is the 60 Hour Rule?

The 60 Hour Rule is a regulation implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in the United States. It pertains to the maximum number of hours a truck driver can work within a 7-8 day period. This rule aims to prevent fatigue-related accidents caused by drivers who have been on the road for an extended period without adequate rest.

Under the 60 Hour Rule, a truck driver is not allowed to work more than 60 hours on-duty over a 7-day period or 70 hours over an 8-day period. This includes all time spent driving, waiting, loading, unloading, and on-duty not driving. After reaching these limits, a driver must take a mandatory rest period known as the “34-hour restart” before they can resume work.

The purpose of the 60 Hour Rule is to ensure that truck drivers receive sufficient rest to prevent fatigue, which is a significant contributing factor to accidents on the road. By limiting the number of hours a driver can work in a week, the FMCSA aims to improve overall safety for both truck drivers and the general public.

FAQs about the 60 Hour Rule:

Q: What happens if a driver exceeds the 60-hour limit?
A: If a driver exceeds the 60-hour limit within 7 days or the 70-hour limit within 8 days, they are required to take a rest period of at least 34 consecutive hours before resuming work.

Q: Does the 34-hour restart have any specific requirements?
A: Yes, during the 34-hour restart, a driver must take off-duty time for at least two periods between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. This ensures that drivers have an opportunity for proper rest during nighttime hours.

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Q: Can a driver restart their 7-8 day period without taking the full 34-hour restart?
A: No, the 34-hour restart is mandatory to reset the weekly limits. It cannot be shortened or skipped. Only after completing the full restart can a driver begin a new 7-8 day period with a fresh set of hours.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the 60 Hour Rule?
A: Yes, there are exceptions for certain types of drivers and operations. For example, drivers operating within a 100 air-mile radius of their work reporting location are exempt from the 60-hour rule. Additionally, drivers who operate under the short-haul exemption may not be subject to the same restrictions.

Q: What are the penalties for violating the 60 Hour Rule?
A: Violations of the 60 Hour Rule can lead to fines and other penalties. Trucking companies found to be in violation may face fines ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Drivers themselves may face civil penalties and potential disqualification from future truck driving employment.

Q: How does the 60 Hour Rule affect a driver’s paycheck?
A: The 60 Hour Rule can impact a driver’s earnings since they are limited to a specific number of hours they can work in a week. However, it is important to prioritize safety over financial considerations, as the consequences of fatigue-related accidents can be devastating.

In conclusion, the 60 Hour Rule is a crucial regulation aimed at preventing fatigue-related accidents by limiting the number of hours a truck driver can work within a specific period. This rule ensures that drivers receive adequate rest, reducing the risk of accidents caused by fatigue. While there are exceptions and specific requirements, the 60 Hour Rule helps promote safety for truck drivers and the general public on the road.

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