Questions about Color Blindness, Post-Trip Inspections & More Answered by Law Enforcement Officials (as of May 2014)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice.
These interpretations were made on April 14, 2014.
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PROPER LOGBOOK RETENTION TIME
Q: How long am I required to keep my old logbooks? Thank you for your service – Keith in Maryland
A: Provided by Sgt. Pete Camm (Ret.), California Highway Patrol, Sacramento, CA: The answer for how long to keep logbooks depends upon what you are using them for besides keeping track of hours of service. If your CMV is registered pursuant to the International Registration Plan (IRP) and/or registered under the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and you’re keeping track of mileage operated in each state (jurisdiction) in your logbook, then you will be required to keep them for years. Statutorily, the state of California (CA) may audit for a period up to three years. Therefore, a CA-based operator is required to maintain records for about five years. Since CA’s mileage reporting period is from July 1 of one year to June 30 of the next, a driver submitting mileage for the 2011 IRP registration year would submit mileage accrued from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010 – up to any 18-month delay. You should check with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) at www.mva.maryland.gov to find out how many years they can audit.
CMV DRIVERS AND COLOR BLINDNESS
Q: It is my understanding that a person that is color blind can no longer drive more than 4 axles. Is this correct? Thanks – Debi in California
A: Provided by Officer Jaime Nunez, California Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Section, Sacramento, CA: Section 391.41(b)(10) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) requires a person to have the ability to recognize the colors of traffic signals and devices showing standard red, green, and amber. The term “ability to recognize the colors of” is interpreted to mean if a person can recognize and distinguish among traffic control signals and devices showing standard red, green, and amber, he or she meets the minimum standard, even though he or she may have some type of color perception deficiency. However, Section 390.3(d) of the FMCSR allows employers to have more stringent medical requirements. Therefore, an employer could prohibit a person with a commercial driver license, who is color blind, from operating company vehicles with more than four axles.
ADDITIONAL DETAILS IN LOGBOOK
Q: Is it required by the DOT that a note be put on what the driver is doing while on-duty not driving, like fueling, a pre-trip or loading, as examples? Thank you – Nancy in Illinois
A: Provided by Jim Brokaw, formerly a Staff Sergeant, Nebraska State Patrol, Carrier Enforcement Division, Lincoln, NE: The only information you must include in the remarks is the name of the city, town or village (with state abbreviation) where each change of duty status occurs. As far as additional information, the FMCSA has an answer for you in one of their interpretation questions for 49 CFR 395.8, which says: Question 23: When the driver’s duty status changes, do 395.8(c) or 395.8(h)(5) require a description of on-duty not driving activities (fueling, pre-trip, loading, unloading, etc.) in the remarks section in addition to the name of the nearest city, town or village followed by the state abbreviation? Guidance: No. Many motor carriers require drivers to identify work performed during a change of duty status. Part 395 neither requires nor prohibits this practice.
POST-TRIP INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS
Q: I know we need to do a pre-trip inspection every day, but I was always told as long as I am under the same load I don’t need to show a post-trip on my log. Is this true? Thank you – James in Georgia
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, TX: Your answer is found in Part 396.11, which says: “Every motor carrier shall require its drivers to report, and every driver shall prepare a report in writing at the completion of each day’s work on each vehicle operated, except for intermodal equipment tendered by an intermodal equipment provider.” So, every day the commercial vehicle is operated, the driver needs to complete and submit a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (post-trip inspection).
~ 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, 2014.