Friday, September 12, 2014

Rest Breaks

It is going on one year since the “Hours-of-Service Rest Break Rule” went into effect. Take time to review the rule to help prevent violations during your next DOT roadside inspection and to minimize downtime because of taking rest breaks when they are not needed.
Below is the actual wording from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations:
Rest Breaks §395.3(a)(3)(ii) - Driving is not permitted if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver's last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes.
Some important things to remember:

1. Driving is not permitted after 8 hours, but on-duty activity is
allowed as long as driving doesn’t resume until at least 30
minutes of off-duty or sleeper-berth has been taken.

2. The rest break needs to be at least 30 minutes of off-duty or sleeper-berth time, no exceptions.

3. The 8-hour clock starts again after every rest break. On-duty time after a rest break and before driving needs to be counted in the calculation of 8 hours. The FMCSA considers on-duty time as a contributing factor to drivers’ fatigue.

4. It may be necessary to take multiple rest breaks each day. 

For drivers still using paper logs, a useful tool is to take a logbook ruler and measure out the length of 8 hours on the ruler. Use this technique as a quick reference once driving or on-duty time begins to determine when a rest break must be taken without going over 8 hours.
Take rest breaks seriously. Rest breaks can help reduce stress and fatigue which can lead to a crash and/or workplace injuries. Also, during a roadside inspection, a new rest break violation adds 21 points to the driver’s and carrier’s CSA/SMS score. This violation can also result in the driver being placed “out of service” resulting in additional CSA/SMS points against the driver and the fleet.


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