Which Commercial Bus Drivers Must Obey Hours of Service Rules?

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on July 18, 2011

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces many rules and regulations to improve the safety of large trucks and passenger buses that share the road with other motorists. One of the most well-known regulations is the Hours of Service (HOS) requirement, which limits the number of hours a truck or bus driver can drive without resting. Limiting hours of service helps prevent driver fatigue, which is a common cause of accidents.

Commercial bus companies must follow the FMCSA’s Hours of Service regulations if the buses travel between states and they fit into any of the following categories:

  • The bus carries a total weight or gross vehicle weight, including passengers and cargo, of 10,001 pounds or more.
  • The bus is used to transport nine or more people, including the driver, for compensation.
  • The bus is used to transport 16 or more people, including the driver, regardless of whether compensation is paid.
  • The bus is traveling out of state or in-state and carries hazardous materials in large enough amounts to require vehicle placards warning of the danger.

Most driving companies keep track of their drivers’ hours of service in written logbooks, which an FMCSA authority may review from time to time to make sure drivers are meeting the requirements. Drivers or companies that violate the hours of service requirements greatly increase the risk of an accident and also put themselves at risk of being fined heavily.

If you have been involved in a bus accident caused by a negligent bus driver, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced bus accident attorneys in Washington at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at 888-228-3860 to find out more about how we can help you protect your legal rights.

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