Hours of Service and Off Duty time

In the fatal crash involving Tracy Morgan in June of 2014, the driver, Kevin Roper, who is charged with vehicular homicide, put himself in a very dangerous state when he came to work.

The Hours of Service rules require drivers to work no more than 14 hours in a day and to be on duty for no more than 11 in a row.  The rules have other specifics concerning break times and a minimum of 10 hours of off-duty time between shifts.  Once a week, drivers are required to take 34 consecutive hours of off duty time to rest as well.  There is no doubt that fatigue is a huge danger on the road whether you are driving a big rig or a passenger car.  Either one can result in serious injury or death.

But, what do we do if a truck driver fails to rest during his off time?  In the case of Mr. Roper, he drove some 800 miles in his personal vehicle before starting his work shift.  There was no logbook to monitor that!  Additionally, it was found that he only slept 4 hours in the 33 hours prior to the start of his shift.

Walmart’s fleet division has since settled with the victims or victim’s families (though Walmart’s insurance companies are fighting paying the settlements).  As employers, how do you monitor activity when someone is off duty?  In an office, all you lose is productivity.  On the road, you run the risk of loss of life.