The FMCSA upholds break requirement

In response to a petition filed last year by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance to rescind the 30-minute break requirement, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has touted the safety advantages of the rule for long-haul operators. The agency noted the information collected from 2013 to 2015 pertaining to the effectiveness of the break is evidence enough to sustain the requirement. Pennsylvania motorists may be interested to know the safety measures the federal government is instituting to make highways and roads safe.

Made effective on July 1, 2013, the 30-minute break rule requires truck operators to take a 30-minute break within the first eight hours of working every day. The CVSA, which serves as a representative of bus and truck inspectors, contended that the requirement does little to improve safety on the highways. It believes that the rule makes it easier for duty logs to be falsified and presents a number of challenges when it has to be enforced.

In denying the petition, the FMCSA advised the CVSA that the safety benefits provided by the requirement is not lessened just because the requirement may be difficult to implemen. In fact, the number of citations issued during roadside inspections seems to indicate that the rule is indeed enforceable. The FMCSA also mentioned a decision by a federal appellate court that maintained the validity of the requirement.

A minimum break requirement for long-haul truck drivers is designed to improve the safety of others who are on the road. Big rig accidents can cause serious injuries to occupants of other vehicles, and a person who has been injured in an accident caused by a sleep-deprived truck driver who flouted the rest rule either due to a desire to make more deliveries or from pressure imposed by the trucking company may want to have legal assistance in seeking compensation for medical expenses and other losses.