June 27, 2022
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Below are some of the most common violations that truck drivers can be cited for. From moving violations like reckless driving and improper lane changes to DUIs and falsifying log books, truckers need to make sure they are always in compliance with all state and federal rules regulating interstate transportation.
Hours of Service violations are some of the most common violations in the trucking industry. All truckers know that there are rules that govern how many hours a truck driver can drive in a day. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created these rules to keep truckers and other motorists safe while on the road. It is critical that you do not go over your allotted drive time.
It is also very important that you log all of your hours. Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) make it fast and easy to record your status and make sure that you are within your time limits. A driver must record their duty status for each 24-hour period. If you have any gaps in your duty logs, you’ll be in violation of the record keeping laws from the FMCSA. This is considered a critical violation and can result in fines over $1,000 per day. If you’re driving hazardous materials, the fines can be even higher, and the consequences more severe.
Falsifying logs also falls under the record keeping violations, and it is even more serious than not recording your duty status. If you falsify your logs, like the 14% of drivers who were placed out of service during the 2021 CVSA Road Check, you can face fines of over $13,000.
One of the most dangerous violations that truckers incur is being overloaded or improperly loaded. Tractor trailers that are improperly loaded pose a serious safety risk to truckers and other motorists. Overly heavy trucks take longer to stop, are more susceptible to becoming unbalanced, and can lead to jackknife, rollover, and other serious accidents. There are federal and state laws regarding maximum load weight, so it is critical that you make sure your load is secure. It will save you money in fines, and it will make the roads safer.
Speeding, tailgating, not signaling turns or lane changes, reckless driving, running a red light, and other traffic violations are common for CDL holders. The consequences for these violations vary depending on the severity of the violation. But repeated offenses can result in the loss of your commercial driver‘s license (CDL).
If you’re a company truck driver, your trucking company may post a copy of the current FMCSA rules in your home base office. They will also probably put new drivers through a training program to ensure that you’re driving safely and are following their best practices.
As a driver, you can avoid the most common violations by driving safely, obeying all relevant laws and regulations, keeping accurate duty logs, and regularly inspecting your rig for any potential maintenance issues.
In addition to the fines you face if you violate any of the Hours of Service rules put in place by the FMCSA, your truck will be placed out of service until you accumulate enough off-duty time to be back in compliance. Depending on which HOS rule you have violated, this can be up to 34 hours. Serious violations and repeated offenses can result in the loss of your CDL.
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