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This is the sixth in a series of articles setting out the Hours of Service requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act. The failure of truckers and bus drivers to follow these requirements is a frequent cause of serious personal injuries and wrongful deaths. If you hire a Morrow & Sheppard truck injury attorney to assist with your 18 wheeler or large truck accident case, we will likely explore whether the truck or bus driver and companies involved violated the Hours of Service requirements.
Truck Drivers Declared Out Of Service
As our Houston truck injury lawyers know, Section 395.13 describes how truckers are declared out of service, as well as certain legal obligations the truck drivers and their trucking companies have when a driver is declared out of service. It provides:
§ 395.13: Drivers declared out of service.
(a) Authority to declare drivers out of service. Every special agent of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (as defined in appendix B to this subchapter) is authorized to declare a driver out of service and to notify the motor carrier of that declaration, upon finding at the time and place of examination that the driver has violated the out of service criteria as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section.
(b) Out of service criteria. (1) No driver shall drive after being on duty in excess of the maximum periods permitted by this part.
(2) No driver required to maintain a record of duty status under § 395.8 or § 395.15 of this part shall fail to have a record of duty status current on the day of examination and for the prior seven consecutive days.
(3) Exception. A driver failing only to have possession of a record of duty status current on the day of examination and the prior day, but has completed records of duty status up to that time (previous 6 days), will be given the opportunity to make the duty status record current.
(c) Responsibilities of motor carriers. (1) No motor carrier shall:
(i) Require or permit a driver who has been declared out of service to operate a commercial motor vehicle until that driver may lawfully do so under the rules in this part.
(ii) Require a driver who has been declared out of service for failure to prepare a record of duty status to operate a commercial motor vehicle until that driver has been off duty for the appropriate number of consecutive hours required by this part and is in compliance with this section. The appropriate consecutive hours off-duty may include sleeper berth time.
(2) A motor carrier shall complete the “Motor Carrier Certification of Action Taken” portion of the form MCS-63 (Driver-Vehicle Examination Report) and deliver the copy of the form either personally or by mail to the Division Administrator or State Director Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, at the address specified upon the form within 15 days following the date of examination. If the motor carrier mails the form, delivery is made on the date it is postmarked.
(d) Responsibilities of the driver. (1) No driver who has been declared out of service shall operate a commercial motor vehicle until that driver may lawfully do so under the rules of this part.
(2) No driver who has been declared out of service, for failing to prepare a record of duty status, shall operate a commercial motor vehicle until the driver has been off duty for the appropriate number of consecutive hours required by this part and is in compliance with this section.
(3) A driver to whom a form has been tendered declaring the driver out of service shall within 24 hours thereafter deliver or mail the copy to a person or place designated by motor carrier to receive it.
(4) Section 395.13 does not alter the hazardous materials requirements prescribed in § 397.5 pertaining to attendance and surveillance of commercial motor vehicles.
Need A Truck Injury Lawyer? We Can Help.
Morrow & Sheppard are privileged to represent 18 wheeler, bus, and commercial vehicle accident victims around the country.
Please call us now at 1-800-489-2216 to discuss your legal rights. We provide free and confidential consultations, and we only get paid when our clients win.