Drivers who want to operate trucks are required to have specialized training. It is not enough to have a regular driver’s license. Truck drivers have to go through extra training and pass written and road tests before they can begin their careers. The written tests include trucking laws and driver regulations. They will learn in their training that they are required to obey all laws in every state that they pass through.
In addition there are many federal laws that govern truck drivers. These cover everything from safe driving techniques, pre-trip checks, and training programs. Some attorneys who deal with truck accident laws consider these eleven federal trucking laws to be the most important. The full details of these laws are found on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.
- 1. Commercial Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program-Part 350
Pertains to various safety training programs on topics including size and weight enforcement, drug enforcement, traffic safety
- 2. Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing-Part 382
Contains detailed rules regarding substances and alcohol testing and penalties for truck drivers
- 3. Qualifications of Drivers-Part 383
Refers to the qualifications a truck driver must have. These include testing and licensing procedures, driver disqualifications, employer’s responsibilities, and required knowledge and skills
- 4. Commercial Driver’s License Standard; Requirements and Penalties-Part 383
Refers to the person who holds the license and the level of the license (CDL for commercial driver’s license)
- 5. Driving of Commercial Motor Vehicles-Part 392
Covers general driving, including railroad crossing, stopped vehicles, use of lights and reflectors, fueling precautions, and prohibited practices
- 6. Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation-Part 393
Pertains to the parts and equipment needed on trucks including lighting, wiring, brakes, fuel systems, coupling and towing devices, emergency equipment, frames, cabs, and body components, securing loads
- 7. Hours of Service of Drivers-Part 395
Pertains to maximum hours allowed, also the detailed log that truck drivers must maintain, recording their actions, or change of status, for each twenty four hours they are on duty. The status includes Driving, Sleeping, On Duty-Not Driving. This log can be kept in a specific form or can be entered into an automatic onboard recording device
- 8. Transportation of Hazardous Materials; Driving and Parking Rules-Part 397
Pertains to regulations on the transportation of hazardous materials, required driving techniques, and rules for parking with hazardous loads
- 9. Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance-Part 398
Pertains to the truck driver’s required pre-trip check of the complete truck to ensure safe and proper operating condition
10. Transportation of Migrant Workers-Part 398
Pertains to the transportation of migrant workers, including sections on non-residents
11. Employee Safety and Health Standards-Part 399
Pertains to safety practices including step, handhold and deck requirements, truck access requirements, and maintenance
The complete text of these eleven federal regulations are detailed and complex. This is one reason why truck drivers must continue their training throughout their career in order to keep up with current trucking laws. Often this is handled through regular training programs.
This article is not legal advice.
Additional Tools Regarding Truck Accident Laws: To find more information about Federal trucking laws please visit TruckAccidentLaw.org