Truck drivers are regulated under federal and state law. Whenever important changes to truck driver regulations are made, they affect other drivers on the road, businesses, and critical industries. Truck drivers' responsibilities are far greater than an average automobile driver. Truck drivers must satisfy multiple requirements in order to legally operate, such as:
- Organized log books
- Standards for carrying hazardous materials
- Weight restrictions / load limitations
Recently, an Hours-of-Service Rule became effective for truck drivers on July 1, 2013. The new HOS Rule limits the maximum number of hours that a driver of a commercial motor vehicle can work in a one week period from 82 hours to 70 hours. These new regulations are being imposed to help reduce truck driver fatigue and accidents where truckers fall asleep at the wheel. However, the new requirements still allow truckers to drive 11 hours and work 14 hours per day.
North Carolina, like most other states, has special permit and weight requirements for trucks. Additionally, North Carolina truck regulations have minimum insurance coverage requirements, as follows:
"The Motor Vehicle Laws of North Carolina states that any owner of a commercial motor vehicle shall have financial responsibility for the operation of the motor vehicle in an amount equal to that required for for-hire carriers transporting non-hazardous property in interstate or foreign commerce. (G.S. 20-309. a1) The minimum required is $750,000."
The US Department of Transportation operates the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which posts new truck driver regulations.