Federal Trucking Laws in Portland

Federal trucking laws in Portland govern a range of driving behaviors, including how long a driver can be on the road, sleeping regulations, maximum vehicle weight, and other vital issues. These laws can be critical in a personal injury case as violating them can help prove negligence in an accident.

If there is ever a conflict between state and federal law, the federal laws preempt state. Securing a dedicated truck collision attorney is invaluable to helping establish negligence in a personal injury case. Call Gideon Asen, LLC today to learn more about how our team could assist you.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) govern specific trucking behavior, as outlined in 49 C.F.R. § 300-399. Some of the most important rules governing commercial vehicle drivers may only apply if the trucker handles interstate loads.

To obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL), a driver must be at least 18 years old. However, to travel across state lines or carry hazardous materials, the trucker must be 21 years old. Before getting their CDL, a motorist must have one to two years of driving experience without any active suspensions on their license. They also need a valid medical examiner’s certificate, which states that they are physically fit to drive a truck.

It is illegal to operate a large commercial vehicle without a CDL. State laws may help dictate how a person gets a CDL, and federal trucking laws dictate the necessity of having one. A Portland attorney could further explain these regulations and federal trucking laws to their client.

Federal Hours of Service Guidelines

Any commercial driver carrying property or passengers across state lines is subject to federal hours of service guidelines. Truckers must log all of their driving activity.

Additionally, they cannot work more than 60 hours over seven consecutive days and must take a mandatory break after eight hours on duty. There are different rules for drivers hauling passengers versus cargo.

Truckers Carrying Cargo

Drivers carrying property can drive for 11 hours, and their off-duty hours are longer at ten consecutive hours. They cannot drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty. Because of this, rest breaks cannot extend the maximum period for driving, and they have to take a 10-hour consecutive break to reset it.

Truckers Carrying Passengers

Truckers carrying passengers have a maximum drive time of 10 hours, but they only need eight consecutive off-duty hours. Their 15-hour time limit is not reset until they complete those off-duty hours.

There are some exceptions for unusual circumstances. The short-haul exception allows short-haul drivers to work 14-hour shifts. Adverse weather conditions can increase the driving window by up to two hours, and breaks do not have to be taken out of the truck.

If a person is part of a driving team, the 30-minute breaks can be off-driving duty in the truck. In addition, if the truck has a sleeper berth, then they can fulfill the 10-hour off-duty period by spending at least 7 hours in the sleeper birth combined with not driving at least another 2 hours.

Regulations on Cellphone Use

Federal laws prohibit truck drivers from using cell phones under most circumstances. However, they can use voice-activated, hands-free, or single-touch calling systems.

While truckers can use their cell phones to make and receive phone calls, they cannot text, send or read emails, or use social media. Evidence that a trucker violated these federal trucking laws can prove negligence in a Portland injury case.

Learn More About Portland’s Federal Trucking Laws Today

Federal laws preempt state laws, making these trucking regulations consistent across all states. Any driver handling interstate trucking loads must comply.

If a party’s failure to follow federal trucking laws in Portland contributed to an accident, the trucker may be liable for your injuries. Schedule a consultation with a reliable personal injury attorney to learn more.