Questions about Green Cab Lights, Hours-of-Service and More Answered by Law Enforcement Officials (as of February 2017)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice.
These interpretations were made on January 14, 2017.
Brought to you as a public service by Ol’ Blue, USA and 10-4.
Submit your questions to www.askthelaw.org
IN MEMORY OF AN EARLY TEAM MEMBER
We would like to offer our condolences to the family of a retired Captain from the Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, in Garland, Texas, who passed away on December 18, 2016, from some complications while being treated for cancer. Captain Kennis Miles, Jr. was one of the earliest supporters of our Ask The Law™ program back in the late 1990s, and was instrumental in getting our radio show started in 1999 on the Midnight Cowboy Trucking Network. Back then, having just been promoted to Sergeant, he really stuck his neck out for us and became a true supporter who helped us not only with our radio programs, but also at some of the truck shows, answering questions brought to us by the truckers in attendance. After being promoted to Captain, he continued to support the programs until his retirement, but even after that he remained a friend and confidant to everyone at Ask The Law™ and Ol’ Blue, USA™ right up until the end. The historical photo here was taken on September 11, 1999, and shows Sergeant Miles on the right and Trooper Monty Dial on the left as they did their very first radio program together at the WBAP studios in Arlington, Texas. Our thoughts and prayers are with Captain Miles and his family and friends as they navigate this difficult road.
OUT OF HOURS WHEN CLOSE TO HOME
Q: We have, on a few instances, had drivers run out of hours when they were very close to home. As of now, we stop, take our ten, and come in the next day. This is frustrating. I have heard that some other companies run another driver out in a non-commercial vehicle to bring in the truck and then let the driver who is out of hours come back in the non-commercial vehicle. Does this work if the driver is at their 14-hour limit? Thanks guys (20 years and still learning) – Eric in Minnesota
A: Provided by Jim Brokaw, formerly a Staff Sergeant, Nebraska State Patrol, Carrier Enforcement Division, Lincoln, NE: Good news – yes it does work. 49 CFR 395.2 defines driving time as “all time spent at the driving controls of a commercial motor vehicle in operation.” The maximum driving times found in 49 CFR 395.3 only apply when driving a commercial motor vehicle. And, you’ll find the definition for a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in 49 CFR 390.5. Driving a non-CMV at the direction of a motor carrier must be recorded as on-duty (not driving) time, according to FMCSA’s guidance for 49 CFR 395.2. So, whoever comes out to trade with you needs to be sure to have driving hours available, and you’ll need your 10 hours off before returning to drive the CMV. You don’t have to go off-duty after reaching your 14th hour, you just can’t drive a CMV any longer, until you take a 10-hour break and aren’t over the 60/70 hour rule. The regulations only limit your driving time and your eligibility to drive CMVs, not how many hours you can be on-duty at any one time.
GREEN IDENTIFICATION LIGHTS ON A CMV
Q: I have a 1963 Kenworth and last week I was stopped in Arizona because of my three green center identification lights on top of my cab. How is ‘Ol’ Blue’ able to have green identification lights on its cab while I cannot? Thank you – Tyler in Arizona
A: Provided by Sgt. Pete Camm (Ret.), California Highway Patrol, Sacramento, CA: Federal legislation enacted in 1965 created the USDOT and the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards were adopted several years later. Up to that point, states enacted statutes or regulations regarding lamps and/or colors. In California, where ‘Ol’ Blue’ is registered, current statute #25351(b) allows trucks manufactured before 1968 to display amber, green or white ID lights (‘Ol’ Blue’ was built in 1951). Arizona statutes only appear to require clearance and side marker lights – I cannot find any requirements in Arizona’s lighting statutes regarding ID lights.
~ 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, 2017.