Questions about Running Haz-Mat Loads, CPAP Machines & More Answered by Law Enforcement Officials (as of June 2014)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice.
These interpretations were made on May 15, 2014.
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FINDING CA VEHICLE CODES ONLINE
Q: How can I look up the California Vehicle Codes online? Thank you for your time – Jerry in California
A: Provided by Officer Jaime Nunez, California Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Section, Sacramento, CA: Access to the California Vehicle Codes (CVC) is available online at www.dmv.ca.gov. Additionally, Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations (T13 CCR) contains regulations which further define the laws found in the CVC. An online version of T13 CCR is available at www.oal.ca.gov.
REQUIRED NUMBERS ON A CMV
Q: Does a truck number need to be displayed on every commercial motor vehicle (CMV)? I know that the DOT number is required, but what about a company-provided truck number? I am trying to keep my truck as clean as possible by only putting the company name, DOT number and IFTA tag on it. Thank you – Mark in New Hampshire
A: Provided by Jim Brokaw, formerly a Staff Sergeant, Nebraska State Patrol, Carrier Enforcement Division, Lincoln, NE: The U.S. DOT’s identification requirements for commercial motor vehicles are found in 49 CFR 390.21. It requires the power unit be marked on both sides with (1) the legal name or a single trade name of the motor carrier operating the self-propelled CMV, as listed on the motor carrier identification report (Form MCS-150) and (2) the identification number issued by FMCSA to the motor carrier preceded by the letters USDOT. If the name of any person other than the operating carrier appears on the CMV, the name of the operating carrier must be followed by the information required by (1) and (2) listed above, and be preceded by the words “operated by.” The FMCSRs neither require, nor prohibit marking the vehicle with any additional information. If other identifying information is displayed on the vehicle, it must be consistent with the information required by this regulation. Also, besides your IFTA decals, you should check with the base state in which your truck is registered to see if there are any additional state-specific marking requirements.
THE PROPER USE OF A CPAP MACHINE
Q: How many hours do you have to use your CPAP each day, week and month? Thanks – Richard in Alabama
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, TX: There is nothing in the DOT regulations that gives guidance on this question. What you are going to do is follow the guidelines established by your medical provider based on the testing you went through.
TIRE CHECKS WITH HAZ-MAT LOADS
Q: I’m a tanker driver and I haul Haz-Mat loads. Since 2006 I’ve been doing tire checks every two hours. I was recently told the law changed a few years ago and it’s no longer required to do tire checks every two hours. What is the current law regarding tire checks? Thank you for your time and service – Troy in California
A: Provided by Sgt. Pete Camm (Ret.), California Highway Patrol, Sacramento, CA: Drivers transporting hazardous material loads must check the tires at the beginning of each trip and every time the CMV is parked. The current regulations are as follows: “Title 49, CFR 397.17 Tires. (a) A driver must examine each tire on a motor vehicle at the beginning of each trip and each time the vehicle is parked. (b) If, as the result of an examination pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, or otherwise, a tire is if found to be flat, leaking, or improperly inflated, the driver must cause the tire to be repaired, replaced, or properly inflated before the vehicle is driven. However, the vehicle may be driven to the nearest safe place to perform the required repair, replacement, or inflation. (c) If, as the result of an examination pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, or otherwise, a tire is found to be overheated, the driver shall immediately cause the overheated tire to be removed and placed at a safe distance from the vehicle. The driver shall not operate the vehicle until the cause of the overheating is corrected. (d) Compliance with the rules in this section does not relieve a driver from the duty to comply with the rules in 397.5 and 397.7 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 May 14, 2014.