Questions about Proper Seat Belt Use,
CSA Scores, Logbooks & More Answered by Law
Enforcement Officials (as of May 2011)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice.
These interpretations were made on April 14, 2011.
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PROPER USE OF SEAT BELTS
Q: Does the law specify the use of a shoulder belt or a lap belt? All that I’m aware of is that using a seat belt is required. – Mike in California
A: Provided by Officer Amy Bachelor, California Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Section, Sacramento, California: Section 27315(d) of the California Vehicle Code mandates proper safety belt use by drivers and passengers of motor vehicles. Proper means wearing the seat belt buckled, positioned and adjusted as designed and intended by the various vehicle manufacturers (who are governed by strict federal standards) for that specific year, make and model of vehicle. If a vehicle was originally equipped by the manufacturer with a shoulder belt, then wearing it would be required.
WHERE TO FIND CSA SCORES
Q: Now that CSA is in effect, where can I go to find a company’s score and my (drivers) score? Thank you. – Greg in Tennessee
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, Texas: There are a couple of websites which can be accessed to find public information for a specific motor carrier (MC). The first site is www.ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms. At this website, information can be found by searching either a USDOT or MC number. The second site is www.safer.fmcsa.dot.gov. Click on “Company Snapshot” then search by MC name, USDOT number or MC number. To receive your DAC report, go to www.hireright.com/Consumers-Applicants.aspx and then click on “I want a copy of my HireRight Background Report/File.”
LOGGING TIME AWAITING DISPATCH
Q: I am trying to find the rules about on-call status or stand by. If I was placed on-call by my company, and I call in at a time they wanted me to but did not have work for me yet, does my 14-hour rule start then until they tell me yes or no? – Chris in Washington
A: Provided by Jim Brokaw, formerly a Staff Sergeant with Nebraska State Patrol, Carrier Enforcement Division, Lincoln, Nebraska: You’ll find your answer in Question 20 of the interpretations for 49 CFR 395.2. Question 20: How must a driver record time spent on-call awaiting dispatch? Guidance: The time that a driver is free from obligations to the employer and is able to use that time to secure appropriate rest may be recorded as off-duty time. The fact that a driver must also be available to receive a call in the event the driver is needed at work… does not by itself impair the ability of the driver to use this time for rest. If the employer generally requires its drivers to be available for call after a mandatory rest period which complies with the regulations, the time spent standing by for a work-related call, following the required off-duty period, may be properly recorded as off-duty time.
LOGGING NAPS & BATHROOM BREAKS
Q: If I have already taken my assigned time lunch break but now I feel like I need a nap and a bathroom break, can I stop the clock again? Thank you – Steve in New Hampshire
A: Provided by Sgt. Pete Camm (Ret.), California Highway Patrol, Sacramento, California:
You should be able to log a bathroom break as “off-duty” time (check company policy or with union rep). You can log times that are less than fifteen minutes – just drop a line and show ten (10) minutes and log your location (see guidance Question 1 for 395.8). If you take a three-hour nap in the sleeper berth, you are required to log it as “sleeper berth” time (log entries must be true and accurate). “Sleeper berth” time does not effect “on-duty” time, it just may not stop the 14-hour clock. However, any time spent in a CMV, other than in the sleeper berth is, by definition, either “on-duty” or “on-duty not driving” time.
~ The Ask The Law™ programs are an ongoing educational effort between Ol’ Blue, USA™ and commercial law enforcement agencies. Ol’ Blue, USA is a non-profit organization dedicated to highway safety education and to improving relations between the motoring public, law enforcement and commercial drivers. “Ask The Law” is a registered trademark of Ol’ Blue, USA. This column is copyrighted© by Ol’ Blue, USA. Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice. These interpretations were made on April 14, 2011.