Drivers of commercial motor vehicles that transport property are required by federal safety regulations to put the vehicle in park once they have worked for 14 hours straight. The 14-hour limit was created with the intention of lowering accidents on the nation’s highways that are caused by driver fatigue. Truck-related accidents and fatalities have reached their lowest level ever since the passage of this new law.

However, studies have shown that local truck drivers experience fewer fatigue-related accidents than their over-the-road counterparts. One of the reasons the 14-hour on duty rule has an exception is because of the Hours of Service rules. The 16-Hour Short Haul Exception refers to it.

Section 395.1 paragraph “o” of the According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, qualified short-haul drivers may exceed the 14-hour limit by up to two hours for a total of 16 hours. This exception allows a driver to drive a commercial motor vehicle after the 14th hour after coming on duty, but not after the 16th hour if the following conditions are met:

  1. For the previous five duty tours, the driver had to have been let go at the usual place of reporting for work. A “duty tour” is the interval between the time a driver comes on duty and is released from duty on a daily basis. The five required duty tours must be consecutive work days, not necessarily days in the calendar.
  2. This exception cannot have been used by the driver in the six days prior to it, with the exception of the restart after a 34-hour break. Thus, the 16-hour exception may be utilized more than once per week by choosing the restart option. On the last five duty tours, the driver was still required to go back to the starting point.
  3. In order to be released from duty and return to the regular reporting location on the day the exception is used, 16 hours must pass.
  4. Following ten hours off the job in a row, the driver cannot drive for more than 11 hours. If adverse driving conditions keep the driver behind the wheel for more than 11 hours, the 16-hour exception cannot be used

One thing to keep in mind is that even if you normally do not keep a log book and are exempt from the 12-hour limit by the 100-air-mile exception, you must do so on the day you use the 16-hour exception because the driver will be working longer than the 12-hour limit allowed by the exception. To learn more, kindly click here. – JJ Keller “Keller Online Learning Center”

Noah Ostroff

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