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Monday, August 15, 2022

FMCSA Rules for Passenger Vehicles-By Sonia Nanda

In light of the recent tragic accident in Oregon I think the Questions and Answers focused on passenger carriers is necessary. As a note: Many, many Canadian Passenger Carriers operating in the US have no idea on registration requirements, laws and rules. This topic is very important and very necessary to cover.

Qu 1. I have a Commercial Vehicle which is a passenger bus. Can I use it for personal use and if so am I subject to the HOS regulations?

A: Yes it is possible that you may use your passenger bus for Family outings etc. As long hen you are operating it is not as part of commerce for your business you are not subject to the HOS regulations.

Qu 2: I have a small 10 passenger bus including driver. Do I need to do drug testing?

A: The drug testing requirement for Drug testing enrollment is 16 or more people seating including the driver. You must ensure Pre-employment and random requirements are met.

Qu 3: What are the HOS limits?

A: The HOS limits in effect as of July 1 , 2013 are as follows:

15 hour on duty limit: Following 8 consecutive hours off duty you are not able to drive a CMV being on duty for 15 hours. You are able to do other work after being on duty for 15 hours but you cannot drive. Any off duty time you take ie : naps or lunch/dinner breaks do not count toward the 15 hour limit. In addition if your CMV has a sleeper berth you may use it to meet your required rest and extend you 15 hour limit.

10 Hour driving limit:  The second limit is the 10 hour driving limit. You may driver 10 hours after 8 hours consecutive off duty. Of this 10 hours you can drive as little (ie 1 hour) up to the 10 hour limit in a row. But once you reach the 10 hours you are required to be off duty for another 8 hours consecutive before driving a CMV again. The 8 hours consecutive can consist of off duty, sleeper or a combination of both. You CANNOT have any on duty in those 8 hours.

60/70 Hour Duty limit: Additionally to above  must also look at cumulative requirements.  The 60/70 hour limit is based on the 7 or 8 day period beginning at the time specified by your company as the start of your 24 hour time period. You may also look at this as your “weekly limit”. The limit is not based an a calendar week but rolls over as the older days drop off.

You may not exceed 60 hours in 7 consecutive days and may not exceed 70 hours in 8 consecutive days depending on the scehdule you use. In both cases you can drive once you have reached the limit. You can do other work but may not drive until you are below the limit. If you work for another motor carrier that must also be added to the totals.

Q4. I have a bus that holds more than 16 passengers. What type of Insurance coverage is required?

A: A bus that is designed to transport more than 16 passengers is required to have $5 Million in insurance coverage.

Please refer to FMCSA guide books for further detailed info on requirements, explanations of off and on duty time, adverse driving exception rules, or the sleeper berth provisions. The above is intended to provide a summary but any carrier must take the responsibility to be knowledgeable of all rules and regulations in detail before beginning operations.

-Sonia Nanda