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 1 misdemeanor. This means there is the potential for up to six months in jail, and $2,500 in fines plus surcharges, which would nearly double the fine. In practice, jail time is unlikely and the fine will usually be less than the maximum.