Short-Haul Rules in the US

As it mentioned on, federal safety regulations apply to all drivers, including short-haul carriers. Proper protection, documentation requirements and more remain the same, but difficulties still appear. Most drivers are not sure they have to obey the requirements of Federal laws.

Mandatory log-filling during a trip is rarely required. Most often, drivers for inter-regional trips are required to do so. However, service records will be required when a driver uses one of the exceptions in Section 395.1(e).

The criteria listed are mandatory. The rules in the section remain relevant regardless of the driver’s ability to use the exception. Compliance with the guidelines regarding 10 hours of after-hours work and 11 hours of driving is a driver’s first priority.

Exception ? 1: 100 air miles

The term “100 air miles” has been used for several years, but not every driver understands what it means. The exception is relevant to those drivers who are traveling up to 115.8 miles. Compliance with the established radius will allow you to take advantage of the first exception.

The list of mandatory requirements for the driver of the vehicle includes:

  • working within a specified radius (no exceeding);
  • returning at the end of the day to the dispatch location;
  • refusal to drive for the next 12 hours. 

Long distance haulers and commercial license holders are also among those who must obey the rule. 

Exception ? 2: 150-mile radius

Transportation on highways that are located within a 172.6 mile radius falls under the exception. The driver is obligated to work the specified distance and return to the job site. Lack of a commercial driver’s license will not become an exemption, as this requirement applies to every driver.

Each work trip is considered completed after arrival at the final destination. Drivers who have spent 14 hours driving cannot drive vehicles for the next five days. After the 7-day period has expired, it is allowed to continue working.

A workday of 16 hours is also the basis for a temporary driving ban. The restriction applies for two days out of the next seven.

Exception ?3: 16 working hours

There is another exception for drivers of short-haul flights. See Section 395.1 (o) for details. Under this exception, drivers are entitled to extend the 14-hour work day by two hours in several cases:

  • return to the point of departure within five days;
  • an extension of work hours was not used the week before;
  • The driver of the vehicle has completed the journal.

Completion of service status information is only required on the day with extended hours of service. This information is used to legally exceed the 12-hour travel limit.

Specifics of using exceptions

Drivers who plan to use exemptions are required to complete a duty status log. Fulfilling this requirement will confirm the legal basis for extending work hours when necessary. It is only possible to waive the routine duty on a day off.

It will not be necessary to carry any proof, but you will still have to provide an explanation to law enforcement officials. It is recommended to indicate which of the listed exceptions is used by the driver. Stopping the vehicle and getting an explanation are legal actions.

Drivers of close distance vehicles are exempt from the requirement to take a break after 8 hours on the road. The 30-minute pause remains mandatory for other road participants with commercial driver’s licenses.

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