Driver Letter: Driver Fatigue
Dear Professional Driver,
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has mandated that all commercial motor vehicle drivers be provided the opportunity to obtain proper rest prior to operating a commercial motor vehicle. We at J & S Transport will ensure compliance with that mandate. However, it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure proper rest is taken. We cannot allow a fatigued driver behind the wheel of our transport vehicles.
FMCSA’s Mission Statement is quite direct, “To reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.” With the advent of CSA, FMCSA has demonstrated that they will, and are, holding commercial motor vehicle drivers and carriers accountable to the regulations. This is quite evident with the Hours of Service Final Ruling becoming effective on July 1, 2013. The purpose of this ruling is to “reduce both acute and chronic fatigue by limiting the maximum number of hours per day and week that drivers can work”. The key changes to the regulations include limiting restarts to once per week with that restart covering at least 34 hours including 2 periods between 0100 and 0500.
We at J & S Transport truly believe our drivers possess the responsibility, maturity and professionalism to comply with the regulation. If the driver has not received the proper rest or unable to make his regularly scheduled shift start time due fatigue, the company will not allow that driver to operate the transport vehicle. The FMCSA is now holding both the driver and motor carrier accountable for compliance. In fact, they specifically spell out their expectations in Part 392.3:
“No driver shall operate a commercial vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle, while the driver’s ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him/her to begin or continue to operate the commercial vehicle.”
What does this means to you? Simply, the driver and J & S Transport will both be held accountable for any accident, incident or involvement attributed to driver fatigue, the driver not receiving the proper rest and the carrier knowingly allow that fatigued driver to get behind the wheel of the vehicle.
Please, do not construe this regulation as a means to tell you what you can, or cannot do during your time off. What the driver does on his own time is his own business. However, if for any reason the company has determined the driver is fatigued, by not getting the proper rest, he will not be permitted to operate a company vehicle. Please help us keep you safe; get the proper rest before coming to work.