The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates commercial drivers. One of the ways FMCSA regulates commercial drivers is to impose hours of service rules. This means FMCSA places restrictions on how long a commercial driver may drive in a particular period of time. For commercial drivers carrying property (and not people) this rule is known as the 11 and 14 hour rule, the 11/14 rule, the 11 hour rule, or the 14 hour rule.
In summary, a driver may drive a maximum of 11 hours in a 14 consecutive hour period, after at least 10 hours of being off duty. A driver may not drive after the 14 consecutive hour period.
The 11 and 14 hour rule is set forth in 49 CFR 395.3, Maximum driving time for property-carrying vehicles.
Other Hours of Service Rules
49 CFR 395.3 container other rules regarding hours of service:
A commercial driver carrying property may not drive if “more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes.” There are some exceptions to this rule if the driver is engaging in short-haul operations.
A commercial driver carrying property may not drive if he has “been on duty for 60 hours in any period of 7 consecutive days if the employing motor carrier operates motor vehicles every day of the week.”
A commercial driver carrying property may not drive is he has “been on duty 70 hours in any period of 8 consecutive days if the employing motor carrier operates commercial motor vehicles every day of the week.”
A violation of the 11 and 14 hour rule will usually be discovered when a commercial driver is pulled over by law enforcement. The law enforcement officer will ask to see the driver’s logbook and will look carefully for violations of this rule.
Consequences if a driver is convicted of violating the 11/14 hour rule
In Arizona, a violation of the 11 and 14 hour rule is a class 2 misdemeanor according to A.R.S. 28-5240, which states:
A. In addition to civil penalties imposed under this chapter, a motor carrier, shipper or manufacturer who operates or causes to be operated a commercial motor vehicle in violation of this chapter or who knowingly violates or knowingly fails to comply with any provision of this chapter or with any rule adopted pursuant to this chapter is guilty of:
1. A class 2 misdemeanor for a first offense.
2. A class 1 misdemeanor for a second offense.
3. A class 6 felony for any subsequent offense.
For a first offense, which would be charged as a class 2 misdemeanor, there is the potential for up to a $750 fine plus surcharges of $630, up to 4 months in jail, and probation. In practice, jail time and probation are unlikely.