DATE: July 29, 2022
SUBJECT: Flyer #1: Hours of Service – Crew Relief and Transportation
REGULATION: 49 CFR § 228 and 49 U.S.C. § 21103
Some Hours of Service Law (HSL) violations are obvious – being ordered to operate a train in excess of 12 hours, for example. Violations related to relief and transportation can be less apparent, so this month we will focus on the FRA’s interpretation of the governing regulations. Let’s look at three scenarios: road crew exceeds 12 hours on a secured train, road crew exceeds 12 hours on an unsecured train, and yard or road crew exceeds 12 hours in the yard.
1.) If the crew reaches 12 hours and their train IS secured, ask the van driver when they were ordered and when they began the process of transporting the crew. If the van was ordered and enroute prior to the crew reaching their HOS there is NO VIOLATION. If the van was still performing another trip after the crew reached their HOS, or if the van was not ordered and enroute prior to the crew reaching their HOS there is likely a VIOLATION.
2.) If the crew reaches 12 hours and their train IS NOT secured, they must wait on a relief crew. If the relief crew was on duty and had transportation prior to the crew reaching their HOS there is NO VIOLATION. If the relief crew did not have transportation, if the relief crew was called to relieve multiple trains and is working another train, or if the van arrives with no relief crew there is likely a VIOLATION.
3.) If the crew reaches 12 hours in a yard (either yard or road crew), the FRA considers it a VIOLATION if the crew is not relieved within 20-40 minutes but handles these on a case-by-case basis depending on circumstances surrounding the incident.
These interpretations are taken from the FRA Hours of Service presentation, but all potential Hours of Service violations are subject to their investigation. If you feel that the Carrier violated the Hours of Service Law, please report the alleged violation via the OSLB Reporting Gateway (linktr.ee/bletohio) or directly to the FRA via their reporting portal. If you have any questions about Hours of Service Law, or about the CFR in general, please reach out to your Division Legislative Representative for clarification.
Photo Credit: Jim Allen (FreightWaves)