Questions about Driving with Diabetes, Failed Drug Tests & More Answered by Law Enforcement Officials (as of October 2016)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice.
These interpretations were made on September 14, 2016.
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UPDATE ON THE NEW SEAT BELT RULE
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, TX: Just thought I’d give you the latest update on Part 392.16(b), passenger use of seatbelt that went into effect 8/3/16. A question came up on how would the violation be recorded on a Roadside Inspection. The final word is, the violation will be recorded against the driver based on wordage in Part 392.16(b). If you read Part 392.16(b), it states, “Passengers, no driver shall operate a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle, that has seat belt assemblies installed at the seats for other occupants of the vehicle unless all other occupants are properly restrained by such seat belt assemblies.
RULES ON 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 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 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 regulation. 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.
GETTING HIRED AFTER FAILING A DRUG TEST
Q: Are there any companies that hire drivers with a failed drug test (over a year ago) or who don’t read DAC reports? Thank you – Greg in Ohio
A: Provided by Jim Brokaw, formerly a Staff Sergeant, Nebraska State Patrol, Carrier Enforcement Division, Lincoln, NE: You’ll find the answer to your question in 49 CFR 391.23. Federal regulation requires that all motor carriers conduct investigations and inquiries with respect to each driver it intends to employ. As part of this investigation, the hiring motor carrier must contact a prospective driver’s previous employers to verify, among other things, if the driver has failed a drug/alcohol test. The hiring motor carrier must provide the previous employers with the driver’s written consent for the release of this information. But, if the driver refuses to provide this written consent, by regulation, the hiring carrier is prohibited from letting the driver operate any commercial motor vehicle, not just CDL vehicles. If you apply for a driving job but won’t give consent to the background check, the motor carrier can’t let you drive. If you can’t drive, they are not going to hire you. Simply put, if a prospective driver has failed a drug test or refuses to give consent to obtain that information, a motor carrier will not want to hire such a safety risk.
TEXAS “M” RESTRICTION ON CDL LICENSE
Q: My husband now has an “M” restriction on his license. What exactly can he haul? The DPS website says restricted to Texas. Okay, that’s fine, but it does not say anything about product. Someone else told me he could only haul product produced in Texas within the state of Texas. I am asking because I haul in Texas but the product is not all produced in Texas. I would like for him to be able to drive instead of just ride with me when I am loaded. Lastly, does he need to log it if he takes my truck to the shop? Thank you for your help – Lynn in Texas
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, TX: In regards to your first question, with the “M” restriction being added to your husband’s CDL, this limits him to operating a commercial motor vehicle, including the load, strictly within the state of Texas. Intrastate transportation means the load starts and ends in Texas. The load cannot originate in another state or end in another state. In regards to your second question, the requirements for completing a logbook will depend on whether the motor carrier requires a driver to complete a daily Record of Duty Status. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to email us through the website (www.askthelaw.org). Please include specific details in further questions so we can properly answer them.
~ 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 September 14, 2016.