Questions about State Inspections, Firearms in a CMV & More Answered by Law Enforcement Officials (as of September 2013)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice.
These interpretations were made on August 12, 2013.
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STATE INSPECTIONS ON A CMV
Q: Regarding speedometers and floorboards, what is an inspector responsible for checking during an annual inspection? If there are small defects, is it acceptable for an inspector to use his or her discretion to pass or reject based on 396.17 or any other section of the regulations? Thanks – Bob in New York
A: Provided by Sgt. Pete Camm (Ret.), California Highway Patrol, Sacramento, CA: Your answer depends upon who is doing the inspection. Annual inspections are generally conducted by mechanics qualified to perform those inspections pursuant to 49 CFR 396.19 and 396.25 (brake). State inspectors generally conduct random roadside inspections to ensure compliance, by motor carriers, with mandated inspections contained in 49 CFR, parts 300-399. Appendix G to subchapter B established minimum inspection requirements for many “safety related” items of a CMV or combination of vehicles to be completed “annually.” However, you won’t find the word “speedometer” listed in Appendix G (Appendix G also makes a comparison with CVSA’s Out-of-Service Criteria). “Floorboards” is also not listed in Appendix G, however, 49 CFR 393.84 requires flooring to be constructed to limit the driver from breathing harmful gases and meet noise level requirements of 49 CFR 393.94. Therefore, your answer may depend upon the mechanic. Since neither “speedometer” nor “floorboards” are identified in Appendix G, he/she may not check either without further compensation. State inspectors generally will not ride in your cab to verify the accuracy of a speedometer, but will note if the cab is not obviously “gas” tight.
CARRYING A FIREARM IN A CMV
Q: Is it against the law for a trucker to carry a legal, registered handgun in a commercial vehicle for their own defense? Thanks – Larry in OH
A: Provided by Jim Brokaw, formerly a Staff Sergeant, Nebraska State Patrol, Carrier Enforcement Division, Lincoln, NE: What I found in researching your question is that this is a frequently asked question that really doesn’t have a very good single answer. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations do not address this topic at all. 49 CFR 173.54 of the USDOT’s Hazardous Materials Regulations addresses transporting explosives and states: “Unless otherwise provided in this subchapter, the following explosives shall not be offered for transportation or transported: …(f) A loaded firearm (except as provided in 49 CFR 1544.219).” This regulation, 49 CFR 1544.219, talks about carriage of accessible weapons on aircraft. Title 18 Section 926(a) titled “The Peaceable Journey Law” addressing the interstate transportation of firearms states: “Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a state or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation, the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle. Provided, that in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver’s compartment, the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console.” So, to be legal, you can’t be in violation of any city, county or state law of any place you will be passing through regarding the possession and transportation of a firearm in that jurisdiction. And remember, not all states recognize a concealed carry permit.
24-HOUR RESETS IN THE OIL FIELDS
Q: I deliver diesel to drilling rigs and also take diesel fuel and gas to pipeline locations. I was told that I could reset my 70-hour clock after 24 hours of being off-duty because of 395.1(d). Does this rule apply to the driver or the equipment? How specific is the rule to oilfield operations. Thanks – Warren in West Virginia
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, TX: For a driver to be eligible to use the 24-hour reset as defined in Part 395.12(d)(1), a driver must exclusively transport oilfield equipment or service the field operations of the industry for each eight-day (or shorter) period before his or her off-duty period of 24 or more consecutive hours. However, if you transport loads not associated with the oilfield operations industry, you must be in compliance with Part 395.3(b). See Part 395.1, interpretations #6 through #11.
~ 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 August 12, 2013.