California vehicle code 21702 limits the number of hours that truckers and bus drivers can be on the roads without taking a break. Sleepy truckers cause hundreds of accidents each year -- many of them fatal. A regular size car is no match for 80,000 pounds of big rig. Ask any honest trucker you know and they will tell you they've probably driven tired at least once in the past month.
Vehicle code 21702 requires truckers and commercial bus drivers to get at least eight consecutive hours of sleep every day. The law states that truckers may not travel more than 12 hours at a time, and must rest at least 3 hours in a 15-hour stretch. Getting the proper amount of sleep is important in maintaining safe roads for everyone. No one wants to see 12 tons of steel coming down the road with a sleepy driver behind the wheel.
Commercial bus drivers must not work more than 10 consecutive hours in a day. They also cannot work more than ten hours in a 15-hour period. This means they can't work 6 hours, take an hour break, and then work another 6 hours. Keeping the roads safe for everyone is more important than making a tight schedule.
This law is in place to keep the roads safe. Commercial bus drivers have stricter regulations than truckers do because they haul people and not cargo. They also have more distractions inside their vehicle than truckers do so it is more imperative that they remain alert.
Anyone caught in violation of this law could receive fines up to $1000 for each offense. It is a myth to think the trucking companies will pay your tickets. The driver is the one responsible for the ticket and for ensuring safety on the roads. Your employer is not the one responsible for making sure you are following the rules of the road, no matter how demanding he or she may be.
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