CVSA Inspecting Yukon

Regulations governing the transportation of goods across the United States highway system are implemented by both the federal and state governments. Transportation companies are registered in a home state and all commercial driver’s license issuance is performed at the state level. This is one area of law where federal and state agencies actually do work in tandem providing a legal avenue for companies to transport and addressing safety concerns for other occupants of the roadway.

Federal Commercial Regulations

The standards for proper commercial transportation of products are established by federal law. The United States Department of Transportation sets the general parameters and requirements, but the states actually enforce the laws within state jurisdiction. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides the requirements of the CDL/CDLIS program. The federal requirement is for all commercial drivers to hold a valid CDL in differing classes according to training. First-class CDL holders are professional drivers qualified and authorized to drive semi-tractors on unrestricted roadways. States do have the authority to restrict eighteen-wheeler traffic in certain locations, including reduced rates of speed for the commercial vehicle.

State Regulations and Enforcement

States also can set standards for legal operation within the particular state, and all commercial drivers are aware that state laws can differ in terms of allowable container size and load weights. North Carolina is an example of reasonable modification states, and this is also particularly true for other states with many bridges and overpasses. State highway patrolmen are authorized to investigate commercial driver activity, as all states are incorporated into the federal regulation system and safety standards.

All CDL issues are done at the state level for the individual driver, and drivers are tested and qualified in a standardized federal testing process. Each carrier is assigned a federal USDOT number and the individual driver CDL is registered with that in-state company. Speeding tickets and impaired driver charges are also adjudicated at the state level, with all states currently using the .02 impairment threshold.

This holds true at the local level as well, including accidents. For example, if a trucker is involved in an accident in Charlotte, NC they will be held at state and any local jurisdiction laws. The best legal representation if this were to occur would be with a Charlotte personal injury attorney who would be knowledgeable about all laws, federal, state and local, wherever the accident occurred and how they might be able to assist with legalities. Commonly they will offer the initial consultation at no cost to the trucker.

Safety Enforcement

Both levels of government are focused on the mission statement of safety. The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 was established to set standard minimums and maximums for safe vehicle operation. It is still in force today. As new standards are implemented, the states adjust to the standard and enforce accordingly. This includes driver activity such as keeping accurate logs and only driving within the limited operational times.

A typical driver safety requirement is allowing the operator to legally drive no more than 11 hours per day, with requirements of a 30 minute break taken before 8 hours of continuous driving. Also a driver can’t drive again until they have been off duty for a minimum period of 8 consecutive hours and an additional 2 hours which can be used through-out the day. Additionally, evidence of maintaining multiple operator logs are a criminal offense for both the company and the driver.

The United States is heavily dependent on the timely and safe delivery of goods and services for the economy to function properly. This is one area of government enforcement where the agencies actually accomplish the operational mission of safety standards together. However, the system is not perfect and many serious accidents still occur because of various factors like deadline bonuses and distracted driving in congested traffic. Anyone who is the victim of an accident involving a commercial vehicle should retain an experienced and effective accident attorney in the state of jurisdiction in order to build a commercial injury damage case for maximum award and client rights protection.

Legal researcher, Lisa Coleman, shares this instance of the Federal and State laws sharing jurisdiction in an effort to help educate. Auger & Auger Attorneys at Law, a Charlotte personal injury attorney firm, is knowledgeable of such laws and able to consult with any commercial driver about legal matters they might be facing as well as represent any victim in an accident involving a big rig on the highways.

 

 

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