Hours of Service - Enforcement

Enforcement

The HOS are issued, among other industry-related regulations, by the FMCSA. In this instance, federal regulations apply only to interstate commerce. Commerce which does not involve the crossing of state lines is considered intrastate, and is under the jurisdiction of the respective state's laws. However, most states have adopted intrastate regulations which are identical or very similar to the federal HOS regulations.

Enforcement of the HOS rules is generally handled by DOT officers of their respective states, although any ordinary police officer may inspect a driver's log book. States are responsible for maintaining weigh stations commonly located at the borders between states, where drivers are pulled in for random vehicle inspections (although some of the inspections are based on the motor carrier's safety rating). Otherwise, a driver may be pulled over for random checks by police officers or DOT officials at any time. Drivers are required to maintain their log books to current status, and if inspections reveal any sort of discrepancy, drivers may be put "out of service" until the driver has accumulated enough off-duty time to be back in compliance. Being put out of service means a driver may not drive his/her truck during the prescribed limit under risk of further penalty. Repeated violations can result in fines from $1,000 to $11,000 and a downgrade in the motor carrier's safety rating.

Long-haul drivers are normally paid by the mile, not by the hour. Legally, truck drivers are not required to receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of the standard 40-hour work week. Some drivers may choose to violate the HOS to earn more money. Being paid by the mile, any work performed that is not actual driving is of no value to the driver, providing incentive to falsify the amount of time spent performing non-driving duties. Drivers who falsify their log books often under-report their non-driving duties (such as waiting to be loaded and unloaded) which they are not paid for, and under-report their driving time or total miles. Many drivers who receive mileage pay are not paid by logged miles or actual miles, instead, motor carriers use computer mapping software (such as PC Miler) or published mileage guides (such as the Rand McNally Household Goods Carriers' Bureau Mileage Guide). PATT suggests that paying all drivers by the hour would reduce HOS violations by removing the incentive to "cheat the system" by driving more miles than are being logged. Surveys by OOIDA report 80% of drivers are not paid for waiting times while loading and unloading, and the majority of those drivers log these times as off-duty (while regulations require they be logged as on-duty). These same drivers reported they would log these times as on-duty if they were paid reasonably for such delays.

Drivers can get away with this rule-breaking due to their paper-based log books. As a driver records their time spent behind the wheel, there is very little to stop them from forging their log books. There is very superficial oversight and some drivers take advantage of this fact. Surveys indicate that between 25% and 75% of drivers violate the HOS. Other drivers maintain more than one log book, showing falsified versions to enforcement officers.

Trucking companies (motor carriers) can also play a role in HOS violations. Certain carriers may choose to knowingly ignore HOS violations made by their drivers, or even encourage their drivers to do so. Allowing drivers to violate the HOS is an effective cost-cutting measure used mostly by non-union, long haul carriers. Permitting HOS violations allows a carrier to hire fewer drivers, and run on fewer trucks than a company which follows the rules. To comply with the HOS, these companies would have to hire more drivers (possibly driving up wages) and purchase additional trucks and trailers. Making a change to comply with the law is complicated by competition with carriers that already comply with HOS regulations. Due to this competition, carriers who choose to switch from non-compliance could not pass on all of their increased costs associated with HOS compliance to their customers.

In 1999, two trucking company officials were sentenced to federal prison for violating hours of service regulations. Charles Georgoulakos Jr. and his brother, James Georgoulakos were sentenced to four months in prison, eight months in home confinement, and one year of supervised release. Their company, C&J Trucking Company of Londonderry, New Hampshire, was placed on two years probation and fined $25,000 (the maximum amount). The sentences were the result of an investigation which began when one of the trucking company's drivers was involved in a collision on Interstate 93 in Londonderry on Aug. 2, 1995, in which four individuals were killed.

The defendants admitted that they knowingly and willfully permitted employee truck drivers to violate hours of service safety regulations. The corporation executed a scheme to hide illegal hours of driving from detection by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) safety investigators who conduct periodic examinations of trucking companies' records. The scheme involved paying drivers "off the books" for illegal driving time through an account other than the normal payroll account.

—U.S. Department of Transportation,

Several private and public motor carriers such as Frito-Lay, United Parcel Service, and Werner Enterprises, have voluntarily implemented electronic on-board recorders to ensure drivers are in compliance with the federal regulations, to reduce the errors and hassles associated with paper log books, and to improve driver retention and recruitment. EOBRs automatically record the driving time and cannot be easily forged. Any violation of the HOS will automatically be recorded and reported to the company. The FMCSA is considering making EOBRs mandatory for all motor carriers.

Read more about this topic:  Hours Of Service

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Enforcement is the processing of set schedules via dispatching to execution.

The latency of any type of human work force to escape under avert conditions from set demand for fulfilment with parameters of punctuality, performance and quality is compensated by procedures of enforcement, as e.g.

  • reminders
  • admonition
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  • demand note
  • hierarchical challenge

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