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Heed new driving-time limits for truck drivers

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If you employ commercial truck drivers, take note of new federal rules governing how much time they can drive before having to take breaks.

The U.S. Transportation Department rules took effect Oct. 1, 2005, but the agency will offer a three-month "transitional period of compliance" to allow employers to implement them.

The new rules prohibit truck drivers from driving more than 11 hours in a row or working longer than 14 hours in a shift. Nor can they drive more than 60 hours over a seven-day period or 70 hours over an eight-day period. Truck drivers must be allowed to rest at least 10 hours between shifts.

For a side-by-side comparison to the new and old rules, visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration site, www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/topics/hos/HOS-2005.htm.

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