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undefinedWhen the clock starts nearing the end of your driving time, you had better look for a parking space if you have a sleeper or a hotel if you don’t. If you’re still driving after the 11 hours for the day or 60/70 hours for the week, unless you have a legitimate exemption, continuing to drive is an Hours of Service (HOS) rule violation. 

Most over-the-road truckers and charter bus drivers must maintain an electronic logging device (ELD) recording miles when the engine starts. It is up to the driver to change the Record of Duty Status (RODS) when another driver takes the vehicle for maintenance or fuel, uses it after hours for personal conveyance, and other reasons.

The same is true for the mandatory 8-hour break. If you haven’t taken a 30-minute break before the clock reaches eight hours of driving, you can be cited for an HOS rule violation—even if it’s five minutes over. 

You would think some leeway is planned into the HOS rules, but there is not. The DOT FMCSA considers road safety paramount over convenience. They limit the hours a commercial driver can drive or work without rest to prevent driver fatigue and drowsiness.

“13% of commercial motor vehicle drivers were considered to be fatigued at the time of collisions.”—The Large Truck Crash Causation Study.

Parking slots in CA are limited for big rigs, so you better start looking early.

What Are the Most Common HOS Rule Violations

The following are four of the most common HOS rule violations:

  1. The 14-Hour RuleAccording to regulations, drivers who carry property are not permitted to drive beyond the fourteenth consecutive hour after starting their duty. They must take a minimum of ten consecutive hours off-duty before they can resume driving. However, the limit for drivers of passenger-carrying vehicles is slightly different, with a maximum cumulative driving time of fifteen hours.
  2. The 11-Hour Rule—drivers who transport goods are allowed to drive for a maximum of 11 hours after a minimum of 10 consecutive hours of rest during the 14-hour period. On the other hand, drivers transporting passengers are permitted to drive up to 10 hours after a minimum of eight consecutive hours of rest. However, there is a two-hour exception to these rules in case of adverse weather conditions. 
  3. The 60/70-Hour Limit—A driver is prohibited from operating a commercial vehicle for more than 60 hours within a span of seven consecutive days. However, this provision is applicable only to carriers that do not operate every day of the week. For carriers that do operate every day, the maximum allowable on-duty time is extended to 70 hours within eight consecutive days. It is important to note that the seven or eight consecutive day period can be reset if the driver takes a minimum of 34 consecutive hours off duty. This ensures that drivers have adequate rest and recovery time to promote safety on the road.
  4. The 30-Minute Break Rule—To comply with the break rule, a driver must complete a 30-minute break within the eight hours after starting work if they have not completed a 30-minute break in the past eight hours. Drivers are required to take a 30-minute break without any interruptions.

Suppose a driver drives for four hours to get to the shipping dock, and must wait two hours for the load, they can count 30 minutes of that wait time as their break, and drive for seven hours without a break after receiving the load. Otherwise, they could use a portion of their sleeper berth, but it must be at least two hours. 

The 30-minute break can be in an on-duty or off-duty status. The driver may conduct a cargo check, fuel the vehicle, or grab a coffee and sandwich. However, if they must move the vehicle during that 30 minutes, they must re-start the clock to get 30 consecutive minutes without driving.

“The adverse driving condition exemption provides some flexibility to commercial drivers who encounter unforeseeable traffic conditions due to ice, fog, sleet, snow, etc.”FMCSA Adverse Driving Conditions.

The two-hour exception cannot be used if the driver could have reasonably foresaw the weather conditions and failed to plan their trip accordingly.

Likewise, a passenger-carrying commercial driver can also use the two-hour exception for weather, but neither property nor passenger carriers may use it to extend their working hours.

For more information about the DOT FMCSA HOS rules, read our article “Complying with Hours of Service (HOS) Rules: Essential Information for Commercial Drivers in CA.” 

Contact Bigger & Harman to Resolve an HOS Rule Violation in Truckee Traffic Court 

If you’ve been accused of an HOS rule violation in Truckee, CA, ask Bigger & Harman (661) 349-9300 about your specific situation. 

Use our contact form to send a picture of your ticket/violation or email

Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

Download our e-book, Protecting Your Commercial Driver License.


The FMCSA CFR 49 Part 383.51Driver Disqualifications.

The DOT FMCSA Factsheet, What is CSA—and how does it affect me? 

The FMCSA HOS Rules 2020 Summary of Hours of Service Regulations.

The DMV Portal CA Commercial Driver Handbook.

The HOS Rules Guide.

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