Will Bus Driver's On Duty Hours Be Reduced to Match Truck Drivers?
Recent deadly crashes involving motor coaches, large buses that travel between cities, have heightened concern about driver fatigue.
Federal regulations allow bus drivers up to 10 hours behind the wheel followed by a minimum of eight hours rest. That adds up to 18 hours, making it legal for a driver to work an entire shift and start a second shift all in one 24-hour period. Bus drivers also have a 15-hour window in which they can be considered on duty. For example, they could drive five hours, wait five hours at a terminal to pick up passengers, and then drive five more hours. That 15-hour window can be extended if drivers have off-duty breaks in between.
Rules differ for truck drivers, who are permitted to drive for 11 straight hours after 10 hours off. They have a hard 14-hour window, which can't be extended.
It is unclear if, due to these highly publicized accidents, the government will change the on duty hour limitations. Industry leaders claim that the current regulations are appropriate and only a few carriers are skirting the law. We will continue to monitor these regulations and advise clients of any changes.