New scheduling rules for truck drivers takes effect

Author: Mike Williams | Posted: 7/2/2013

The number of hours per week that truck drivers can be scheduled is limited under new rules enacted by the Obama administration on Monday. Beginning July 1, truck companies will be required to limit the number of hours their behind-the-wheel employees work to 70 hours per week.

The rules were first announced by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in December of 2011, and they are now being implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

The rules require a 34-hour rest period for truck drivers who reach the new 70-hour work limit.  Companies will be also be required to allow drivers to take at least a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of their shifts.

Companies that allow truckers to drive more than three hours over the new work schedule limits can be fined $11,000. Additionally, drivers themselves who volunteer to work longer hours can be penalized with a $2,750 for each offense, according to Obama administration officials.