Questions about HOS, Fire Extinguishers, Roadside Parking & More Answered by Law Enforcement Officials (as of February 2014)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice. These interpretations were made on January 14, 2014
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HOURS OF SERVICE IN CALIFORNIA
Q: We are negotiating a contract with a company that is located about four hours away. If I drive my four hours to get there and then have to wait three to four hours for my load, can I still drive the four hours back, or do I have to take a ten-hour rest before I can start driving again? Thanks – Ricardo in CA
A: Provided by Lt. James Portilla, California Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Section, Sacramento, California: Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 1212.5(a)(2) outlines hours-of-service limits for California-based drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle in California. Title 13 prohibits a person from driving more than 12 cumulative hours following ten consecutive hours off-duty; or for any period after the end of the 16th hour after coming on-duty following ten consecutive hours off-duty. Based on the details provided, you do not have to wait to drive back to your terminal. Intrastate hours of service may be different in other states. Drivers should check with their respective states in order to be in compliance.
LOGGING LOCAL WORK OVER 100 MILES
Q: Since I usually run local I do not use a logbook. However, on the days I do need to use one because I travel outside the 100-mile radius or work longer than 12 hours, how should I mark the day before? Thanks – Ernie in CA
A: Provided by Sgt. Pete Camm (Ret.), California Highway Patrol, Sacramento, CA: You are not required to possess any other logbook pages other than for the day you will either be operating more than 12 hours and/or operating outside of the 100 air-mile radius (115.08 road miles). You may (permissive, not required) fill out a logbook page for the previous day which indicates “Local” – this may save you five minutes of questioning by law enforcement. Guidance for your answer is from 49 CFR 395.1 interpretations: “Question 21: When a driver fails to meet the provisions of the 100 air-mile radius exemption (section 395.1e), is the driver required to have copies of his/her records-of-duty status for the previous seven days? Must the driver prepare daily records-of-duty status for the next seven days? Guidance: The driver must only have in his/her possession a record-of-duty status for the day he/she does not qualify for the exemption. A driver must begin to prepare the record-of-duty status for the day immediately after he/she becomes aware that the terms of the exemption cannot be met. The record-of-duty status must cover the entire day, even if the driver has to record retroactively changes in status that occurred between the time that the driver reported for duty and the time in which he/she no longer qualified for the 100 air-mile radius exemption. This is the only way to ensure that a driver does not claim the right to drive 10 hours after leaving his/her exempt status, in addition to the hours already driven under the 100 air-mile exemption.”
FIRE EXTINGUISHER RULES FOR A CMV
Q: At what point is a fire extinguisher required on a commercial vehicle in California? Thank you – Timothy in CA
A: Provided by Officer Jaime Nunez, California Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Section, Sacramento, CA: Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 1242 requires a fire extinguisher having at least a 4B:C rating be available in every truck that has three or more axles, any truck tractor, a truck and trailer whose combination is over 40 feet, any truck transporting hazardous materials, and CMVs with a gross vehicle weight rating over 26,000 pounds. Additionally, tow trucks must also be equipped with a fire extinguisher. Each fire extinguisher must be rated and labeled by either Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual Research Corp. The extinguishers shall be securely mounted in a conspicuous place or a clearly marked compartment and readily accessible. Each extinguisher shall be maintained in efficient operating condition and equipped with some means of determining if it is fully charged. Other states may have some additional requirements and should be consulted for further information.
PARKING ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD
Q: I use an electronic logbook, which sometimes flashes a warning that I must stop for one hour or be in violation. Is it legal to just pull over to the side of the road and park to avoid this violation? Thank you in advance for your help – Marten in OK
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, TX: Most states have signage that states parking on the shoulder of a highway is for emergency use only. So, unless you have an emergency, parking on the shoulder is prohibited. In addition to it being illegal in some states, it also becomes a liability issue. If you park there and you do not have an emergency and a careless driver runs into your vehicle, you and your motor carrier are liable to being sued – they call this Tort Liability.
~ 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 January 14, 2014.