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Common Log Book Violation Questions

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulation on Hours of Service (HOS) can be confusing, particularly for commercial drivers’ license (CDL) holders new to the job. Therefore, we thought we would take this opportunity to explain some of the more complex questions put to us by truckers or commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, bus drivers must follow many of the same rules, about these regulations and the common log book violation questions and provide some information about CA Vehicle Code (CVC) violations and possible fines.

The FMCSA & Log Book Violations

Many truckers ask, is it a log book violation to log a sleeper birth even though they do not have a sleeper? Many law enforcement officers (LEO) will give you a log book violation ticket for logging a sleeper berth when you do not have a sleeper. It’s best to just log off-duty if you do not have a sleeper.

Q: What is meant by a “split sleeper berth” rest period?

A: A split sleeper berth, for those with a sleeper, gives the driver the option to split their rest period into two rest period will restart the 14-hour driving period, moving it forward to the beginning of the first break, whichever the driver chooses. These two breaks can be taken in either order, but one must be from two to eight hours, which can be used off-duty, in the sleeper, or a combination and the other must be eight to ten hours just in the sleeper. If you don’t have a sleeper, you can still split your breaks.

Q: Must a mechanic that only drives ocassionally adhere to the 14-hour driving period and other HOS rules?

A: Yes, all CMV drivers must comply, if they drive more than the 100 or 150-mile (measured in air miles) exceptions according to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). If they do not, they will not have to maintain a log book.

Q: Do I have to log fuel stops?

A: Yes, all changes in duty status must be logged, fuel stops, load checks, etc.

Q: Can I use my CMV to drive to a restaurant from my hotel or lodging while off-duty?

A: Yes, if the company allows it, just log it as off-duty travel and it will not count against the 14-hour period.

Q: How often must we take a break?

A: According to the CFR, you must take a 30-minute break after 8 consecutive hours of driving or on-duty, including fuel stops and load checks. Just log it as off-duty or sleeper berth. This requirement applies to HAZMAT and explosives drivers, even though they cannot leave their load unattended, they must cease all other duties for 30 minutes after 8 hours of driving.

Log Book Infraction Table

The first table below is log book violations that are traffic infractions and the approximate fine if convicted and the second is a table with traffic misdemeanors.

Log Book Misdemeanor Table

Electronic Log Devices (ELD)

By January 2018, bus drivers and truckers will have to be trained on using the ELDs and/or a Smart Phone Log. Safety is the number one priority. The devices are expected to decrease the number of accidents that may be caused by truckers and other CMV drivers. HOS log includes the engine hours, movement, miles driven, and location.

What you need to know is that ELDs need to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They give the drivers and carriers a detailed timeline when stops occurred and the driver will just have to enter the reason for the stop, load checks, fuel stops, etc.

Hire a San Bernardino County Attorney

If you were issued a log book violation ticket in Barstow in San Bernardino County, CA or a Central Valley county, call Bigger & Harman for a free, no obligation phone consultation. Bigger & Harman protect the rights of truckers throughout Central Valley in Kern, Kings, Tulare, and other counties, plus a few SoCal locations, such as San Bernardino, Riverside, or LA.

Although their main office is in Kern County, they keep track of the latest trends in places like Barstow where many truckers are caught up in the traffic coming into CA from Nevada or moving goods to Nevada from the ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach. They handle clients’ with traffic tickets in Barstow, Santa Clarita, Fresno, LA, Porterville and many more traffic courts. Bigger & Harman have developed a tough legal reputation with LEOs, judges, and court clerks when representing truckers who are often singled out by overzealous LEOs. If you’re wrong, you’re wrong but it is our duty to make the state prove you were wrong when you were just doing your job delivering manufactured and agricultural goods to the destination for processing or sale.

Call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300 to discuss your situation or email: attorney@markbigger.com

Read their Nolo.com write-up, Nolo is the nation’s largest online digest of legal professionals. In addition, you should check the comments on Yelp to get a clearer picture of who these guys are and how proud they are of their reputation of excellence in serving CA drivers.

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