Severity weights, out-of-service protocol for new hours rules

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Updated Jul 24, 2013
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Violation of the 60/70-hour rule due to a nonqualifying restart under the new hours of service will result in the driver being placed out of service.Violation of the 60/70-hour rule due to a nonqualifying restart under the new hours of service will result in the driver being placed out of service.

As drivers adjust to the operational differences surrounding the hours rule, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and industry watchers have been sharing intelligence on how various enforcement systems — from the police at roadside to the federal Compliance, Safety, Accountability system — will treat violations of the new rules.

Drivers who’ve violated the new requirement to have at least 30 minutes off-duty before driving eight consecutive hours — otherwise known as the mandatory 30-minute break — will incur with the violation a severity weight of 7 in the CSA system, reports Vigillo’s Drew Anderson at the company blog, citing a Department of Transportation source. Furthermore, the source noted, the new weighting/violation will be placed in the CSA Safety Measurement System with the early-August snapshot.

Such a violation will not be an out-of-service violation, however, according to a CVSA memo sent out to member law-enforcement and other organizations June 27 and referenced at the Arizona Trucking Association’s website. The Maine Motor Truck Association references the same memo in this analysis and goes further into detail on how police/inspectors will treat the break. Upshot: It’s likely to vary considerably by state:

While it might not technically be an out-of-service violation, a driver who is out of compliance with this provision in Maine will not be allowed to drive until they have taken the requisite off-duty break. To make things even more convoluted, it appears each state can make their own determination as to whether they will allow a driver to continue, or make them wait until they have taken at least 30 minutes off. Either way, this scenario will not result in an official out-of-service order affecting the carrier’s safety records.

If it’s registering in your or your carrier’s CSA SMS profile with extra points for an out-of-service violation, pursue removal of the OOS points via the DataQs system.

However, Maine noted in its memo, “due to the potentially inconsistent message that results from this memo, it is likely that CVSA’s position on rest break violations may change as the organization is due to revisit the issue at its upcoming Annual Conference in September.”

Violations of the 60/70-hour rule due to a nonqualifying restart, however, will be treated as out-of-service violations, the same CVSA memo noted, both Maine and Arizona associations concurring.