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The 30-minute break rule for truckers

A petition to rescind a rule requiring truck drivers to take a 30-minute break in their first eight hours of service was denied in August 2016. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance represents North American truck and bus inspectors, and it sought to get rid of the rule arguing that it was too hard to enforce and did nothing to help keep roadways safe. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration denied the motion saying that violation data showed the rule was not too hard to enforce.

The rule was instituted in July 2013, and a federal appellate court upheld its validity in August 2013. In a letter to the CVSA, the FMCSA said that a safety rule is still valid on its merits even if it were proven to be too difficult to enforce. The CVSA had also argued that the rule gave drivers opportunities to falsify driver logs.

The rule is in place in order to cut down on the number of accidents caused by fatigued truck drivers. A collateral effect is to help to ensure that trucking companies don't put too much pressure on their drivers to operate a vehicle when they are drowsy.

Unfortunately, many drivers and their employers violate this rule, and as a result, accidents that cause serious injuries to occupants of other vehicles occur. Injured victims are often faced with high medical expenses and are unable to return to work for prolonged periods, further worsening their financial condition. An attorney representing an injured plaintiff can use trucking logs as evidence to show that the accident could have been the result of such a violation.

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Smith & Griffith, LLP
1102 North Main Street
Anderson, SC 29621

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