Some drivers may wonder who regulates trucks in Virginia. The federal government is responsible for regulating the truck industry everywhere in the country through the Federal Motor Vehicle Carrier Safety Act, but highway patrol and local law enforcement are charged with ensuring that vehicles operating within the roadways of a particular state or locality are operating in a safe manner. These entities also have regulatory responsibilities, but the primary regulator for commercial motor vehicles is done through the Federal Motor Vehicle Carrier Safety Administration.
For people who have been injured in a crash with a truck, it may be uncertain who is in charge of regulating that driver, and what standards they should be held to. Speaking with a dedicated attorney can help you discover if a negligent trucker violated any of their regulations, potentially proving their fault.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration comes up with their regulatory standards through a process shared by other governmental regulative organizations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration engages experts to help inform themselves, the public, and their congressional oversight as to appropriate modifications to be made to the regulations that govern the use of commercial motor vehicles in an ever-changing transportation industry in the United States of America and Virginia.
There are many U.S. trucking laws as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations but some basic ones include driver training requirements, loading requirements, requirements regarding the hours of operation, passengers that may or may not be in the vehicle, types of commodities that might be able to transported in the vehicle, how long someone is allowed to drive without breaks or sleep, and the last time that they can legally use alcohol prior to operating a vehicle.
There are different rules for alcohol use that involve commercial motor vehicles. In Virginia, a driver is deemed intoxicated in a passenger vehicle with a 0.08 blood alcohol content. However, in a commercial vehicle, a driver is deemed legally intoxicated with a 0.04 blood alcohol content. There are even regulations governing the operation of a vehicle like lane changes, arrow usage, stopping distances, and things like that in order to avoid motor vehicle accidents because they are so much more likely to be serious when they involve a large commercial motor vehicle. All of these regulations for trucks in Virginia are prescribed to keep everybody on the road reasonably safe and to prevent accidents.
There is a huge burden on the trucking companies themselves to uphold these standards. The trucking company has numerous requirements related to the upholding of the standards.
In general, the employing company must make safety certifications through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and they have to ensure that all of their drivers have current licensing and training qualifications. They have to certify and monitor a driver’s hours of service. They also must have in place a compliant plan for drug and alcohol testing while ensuring that the vehicle is being maintained in a proper and safe condition.
They have to have in place an accident monitoring program so that they have established countermeasures and a training program in place to reduce accidents. They have to maintain records for certain periods of time so the regulators may investigate at any time. In addition to that, they have to have in place a system to hold individuals responsible for safety violations.
Carriers are also required to prepare and maintain an accident register, be familiar with the DOT regulations governing their driver qualifications, and create a system for overseeing those driver qualification requirements to make sure they are met.
They have to have in place policies and procedures that are consistent with the United States Department of Transportation regulations governing driving and safe operation of motor vehicles. They also have to retain records for periods of time to ensure properly documented accident safety and training retention in case federal, state, or local agencies choose to audit those records.
The kinds of insurance coverage that must be obtained by a trucking company can vary, but typically, most commercial motor vehicles in Virginia are going to carry at least $1 million of insurance coverage. However, that might vary based on the type of vehicle and the type of materials that are being transported in the vehicle.
The mandatory liability coverage changes depending upon the freight being hazardous or nonhazardous. In some circumstances, vehicles transporting certain hazardous substances may have to have up to $5 million of insurance. There are different levels based on what they are carrying and how large the trailer’s cylinder is, but it can vary between $1 million and $5 million.
Truck accidents are serious incidents, potentially causing extreme harm to victims. In these cases, it is important to know who regulates trucks in Virginia, and use this knowledge to prove the defending driver or company responsible is for their negligence. To get started on your case and to learn more, call an attorney right away.