Questions about Diabetes, Haz-Mat Vehicles, Scale Signals & More Answered by Law Enforcement Officials (as of November 2013)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice.
These interpretations were made on Octovber, 14 2013.
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RULES FOR CMV DRIVERS WITH DIABETES
Q: I drive local delivery, always within a 100-mile radius, and never work more than 12 hours. I have diabetes, which is controlled by diet and oral meds. At some point, I may need to go on insulin. What are the rules for drivers on insulin? Thanks – John in California
A: Provided by Officer Jaime Nunez, California Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Section, Sacramento, CA: Section 391.41(b)(3) of the FMCSR’s prohibits interstate operation of commercial vehicles by persons with an established medical history or clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus requiring insulin for control. Under certain conditions, a person may be exempted from this rule. A consultation with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be required. Similarly, a person engaged in intrastate-only commerce may be granted an exemption by the state. Many factors will be considered, including a statement from your doctor indicating no severe hypoglycemic reactions resulting in loss of consciousness or impaired cognitive function occurred without warning in the past 12 months. Additionally, no recurrent (two or more) severe hypoglycemic episodes have occurred in the last five years. Based on all the information presented, a person may or may not be permitted to drive a commercial vehicle.
TRACKING DEVICES ON HAZ-MAT VEHICLES
Q: Is there a requirement somewhere for Haz-Mat vehicles to have a tracking device on them? Thank you – Bill in Wisconsin
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, TX: There is nothing in the DOT rules nor any other federal regulation that requires a motor carrier to install tracking devices on vehicles transporting Haz-Mat. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for the motor carrier to have the ability to keep track of their vehicles, but only as long as the data is used by the motor carrier only and they wouldn’t have to provide the data to a federal agency or their state partner. I remember one instance when I was working where I stopped a vehicle that was carrying explosives for a Level 1 Inspection. The driver informed me that he needed to send his carrier a Qualcomm message because if they saw the vehicle not moving for any length of time without notification, they would contact the state police in the state they were operating in.
LOGBOOK RULES FOR SHORT HAUL DRIVERS
Q: I run for a sand and gravel company, hauling mainly around western Nevada and occasionally short runs into California (just fifty miles or so). I was told by someone that we have to fill out a logbook entry on days we cross over into California. Is this correct? Our company does not require this – we normally only fill out a logbook entry on days we work twelve hours or more, or run outside of our 100-mile radius. Thanks in advance – Ben in Nevada
A: Provided by Sgt. Pete Camm (Ret.), California Highway Patrol, Sacramento, CA: You and the company are fulfilling hours of service requirements contained in federal and California regulations. There is no requirement to specifically maintain a logbook in order to cross a state line or national boundary (Canada or Mexico). In other words, the “short haul” driver’s exemption (395.1)(e) does not change when crossing an invisible state or federal boundary.
CONFLICTING SIGNALS AT A SCALE
Q: If a scale has signs indicating it is closed but my in-cab PrePass unit provides a red stop signal anyway, should I stop at the scale or just drive on by? Thanks – Monty in Ohio
A: Provided by Jim Brokaw, formerly a Staff Sergeant, Nebraska State Patrol, Carrier Enforcement Division, Lincoln, NE: Although the instructions for PrePass® say you are to follow the in-cab indication from your transponder, remember it is a system to legally bypass an open scale. If the highway signs are indicating the scale is closed, there isn’t a legal requirement for anyone to stop, so any indication from your transponder at this point is irrelevant. What probably happened is that when the officers closed their scale, they forgot to switch their PrePass® system to closed. Find more specific information about PrePass® on their website at www.prepass.com.
~ 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 October 14, 2013.