Questions about Carrying Tire Chains, Logbooks, Haz-Mat Regulations
& More Answered by Law Enforcement Officials (as of December 2012)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice.
These interpretations were made on November 12, 2012.
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TIRE CHAIN REQUIREMENTS
Q: What is the law about carrying tire chains on a CMV? I have always believed that the law says that you must carry chains, whether used or not, from October 31 to March 31. I have been all through the FMCSR’s and can find nothing. My fleet manager says only certain states require chains to be carried. Who is correct, and where do I find the info? Thank you – James in Missouri
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, TX: You could read the DOT Regulation Handbook again and you will come up with the same answer again. There is no DOT regulation that requires a commercial motor vehicle to be equipped with tire chains. It is, however, a law that some states require CMV’s to carry and use them. Visit www.tirechainsrequired.com/laws.html for a list of each state’s specific tire chain requirements.
LOGBOOK PAGE SEIZED BY TROOPER
Q: One of my co-workers was recently stopped by a Washington State Trooper. After the stop (and a citation issued for a stop sign violation), the driver found that the trooper had torn out the carbon copy of the current day’s log. The trooper never even told my co-worker that he kept the page. Since he was only about 50 miles from his terminal, the driver simply made a photocopy for his records. Is what the trooper did legal? Thanks – Bob in Oregon
A: Provided by Officer Jaime Nunez, California Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Section, Sacramento, CA: Section 395.8 of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, contains an interpretation that is relative to this issue. In question number nine of the interpretation, it is asked whether a duplicate copy of a record of duty status can be submitted if an original was seized by an enforcement official. It is clear from the interpretation that enforcement officials may seize documents. In California, case law allows for the seizure of a logbook page by an enforcement official. Additionally, a driver must prepare a second original record of duty status to replace any page taken. The driver should note the first original had been taken by an enforcement official and the circumstances under which it was taken.
HAZ-MAT RECORD KEEPING
Q: Am I correct that as a haz-mat carrier of explosives, I can destroy bills of lading after just one year of accepting the load? Thank you in advance – Rick in Illinois
A: Provided by Jim Brokaw, formerly a Staff Sergeant, Nebraska State Patrol, Carrier Enforcement Division, Lincoln, NE: Yes, you are correct, except for hazardous waste. You’ll find your answer in 49 CFR 177.817(f), which states in part: “For hazardous waste, the shipping paper copy must be retained for three years after the material is accepted by the carrier.” For all other hazardous materials, the shipping paper copy must be retained for one year after the material is accepted by the carrier.
UPDATE ON DVIR REQUIREMENTS
Q: Back in your June 2012 column you said that drivers are no longer required to keep a copy of the previous day’s DVIR in the truck. If that is true, why are drivers still getting DVIR violations during roadside inspections? Thanks – Dan in California
A: Provided by Sgt. Pete Camm (Ret.), California Highway Patrol, Sacramento, CA: That is a good question. I checked a federal website and found more than 4,000 violations were recorded during this federal fiscal year (October 1 through September 30). If a DVIR is not required to be carried on a CMV, why are there so many DVIR violations being recorded? The best answer is many motor carriers and/or drivers use and carry paper logbooks that contain a DVIR on the bottom or reverse side of the logbook pages. If the original DVIR is still in a driver’s possession (or on the logbook page), it is still required to be filled out as specified in Title 49 CFR 396.11 of the regulations.
~ 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 November 12, 2012.