Conventions of short trips in the USA

According to the information from the website, federal safety laws apply to all drivers, including short-distance truckers. The corresponding security, document requirements and other aspects remain the same, but you won’t be able to avoid the difficulties. Most drivers doubt the need to comply with the federal laws.

Mandatory logging during the trip is rare. This is more applicable to the drivers engaged in interregional transportation. However, the service data will be required if one of the exceptions specified in Section 395.1 (e) is applied.

The above-mentioned criteria are mandatory. The rules listed in the section remain relevant, regardless of the driver’s ability to use the exception. Following the instructions on 10 hours of work in free time and 11 hours of driving becomes a driver’s main task.

Exception #1: 100 air miles

This term has been used for a few years, but not all drivers know for sure what it means. The exception applies to those drivers traveling up to 115.8 miles. Adhering to the specified radius, it is possible to use the first exception.

The list of a truck driver obligations includes:

  • trips without exceeding the limits of a certain radius;
  • returning to the departure point at the end of the day;
  • no driving for the next 12 hours.

Обладатели коммерческих лицензий и дальнобойщики также принадлежат к категории обязанных соблюдать данное правило.

Exception #2: 150 mile radius

The exception includes transportation along highways within 172.6 miles. The driver is required to cover the specified distance and return to the workplace. This requirement applies to all drivers, even those who don’t have a commercial driver’s license.

A work trip is considered completed after reaching the final destination. Drivers who have spent 14 hours driving have no right to drive for the next five days. They can return to work after a seven-day break.

A sixteen-hour working day can also result in a temporary ban on driving a vehicle. Two of the next seven days are subject to restriction.

Exception #3: 16 working hours

There is another exception regarding short-distance trips. You can find details in Section 395.1 (o). In this case, it goes about increasing the fourteen-hour working day in certain cases:

  • returning to the starting point within up to five days;
  • working hours weren’t extended during the previous week;
  • the transport log was filled in by the driver.

It is required to indicate the service status data only on a day with an extended working period. This information is used for exceeding the limit for a twelve-hour trip legally.

Features of using the exceptions

Drivers planning to resort to exceptions are required to fill in a service log. Compliance with this requirement will serve as a proof of the right to extend the working day if necessary. One can avoid the duty routine on a day off only.

A driver will need no evidence, but he will have to explain the situation to the law enforcement officers. The exception option used by the driver should be clarified. Stopping a vehicle and demanding explanations are legitimate actions.

When performing short-distance trips, drivers are exempt from taking an eight-hour break on the way. A half-hour pause is a prerequisite for commercial driver’s license holders among traffic participants.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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