When it comes to passenger vehicles versus semi-trucks and commercial drivers, there are different regulations in place. The sheer weight and size of trucks make them a danger to other drivers if strict safety regulations are not in place. Here are the additional safety laws for truckers.
Controlled Substance Laws
Annually, the FMCSA will conduct a drug and alcohol sweet to keep unsafe commercial drivers off of the road. The FMCSA will analyze a driver’s drug and alcohol safety records and will find drivers who move from carrier to carrier so that they do not have to have regular drug or alcohol. Anyone who violates these rules or is found under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be barred from commercial driving and receive fines. The companies also can face fines for not having proper tests or records.
Distracted Driving Laws
Drivers are not allowed to text and drive. Now, drivers may receive one free pass without punishment, but this is it. On the second offense, the driver cannot drive for 60 days. If the driver does it again, he or she will have a 120 day disqualification.
The FMCSA has Hours of Service regulations to keep fatigued drivers off of the road. A commercial driver carrying property cannot drive for more than 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours of off-duty. These drivers may not drive for more than 60 to 70 hours for seven to eight consecutive days. All truckers must comply with keeping written logs that they can support with toll receipts.
The CSA initiative, also known as the Compliance, Safety, Accountability initiative is a an enforcement model that addresses safety concerns regarding trucking accidents. This initiative involves three different components: Measurement, evaluation and intervention. The CSA measures a driver or carrier’s safety performance by analyzing these areas:
- Vehicle maintenance
- Fatigued driving
- Driver fitness
- Crash history
- Controlled substances
- Improper loading
- Unsafe driving
If it’s found that the company or driver is unsafe, then there is an intervention. This may come in the form of a letter or an inspection. The FMCSA will then follow up with corrective measures. These measures may involve voluntary safety plans or they may be ordered to stop their operations.
When it comes to truckers, they are a bigger risk on the road. Given the weight of the trucks and the damage that a trucking accident inflicts, there are very specific guidelines that apply to truckers. If you need help with understanding these laws, contact a truck accident lawyer for more details.