The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for devising the laws that regulate motor carriers in the country. These regulations address issues regarding hours of service, cargo securement, and maintenance rules, all of which carry steep fines and penalties if violated. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) enforces state laws regarding vehicle size and the weight it is permitted to carry.
Hours of Service
- Drivers are allowed to drive up to 11 hours, but are limited to 14 hours within a duty period.
- Drivers are required to take a mandatory 30 minute break after eight hours of service.
- The 14-hour day cannot be extended to make up for breaks or fuel stops.
- Drivers may restart the 7-day work period once every 168-hour work week. During this time, they can take at least 34 consecutive hours off.
- Each 14-hour duty period must begin with at least 10 hours off-duty.
- Drivers are prohibited from working more than 60 hours on-duty in 7 consecutive days.
Violating any of the hours of service rules may result in penalties and fines for both the carrier and the driver. Federal criminal penalties can be brought against those who knowingly and willfully violate these rules.
Motor carriers are also required to inspect, repair, and maintain all motor vehicles on a regular basis to ensure safety. In addition to periodic inspections, drivers are required to complete a daily written post-trip inspection report at the end of each day, identifying if there were any deficiencies or defects.
The weight limits established for public highways in Tennessee are as follows:
- Gross Maximum: 80,000 lbs
- Single Axle: 20,000 lbs
- Tandem Axles: 34,000 lbs
Violations are subject to fines.
Morristown Trucking Accident Attorneys
Trucking law is complex and difficult, making these accidents difficult to navigate without the help of a skilled and experience legal team at your side. The Morristown trucking accident attorneys at The Terry Law Firm have been representing victims of truck wrecks for more than 50 years.
Schedule a free consultation with us today. Call us at (423) 536-6220.