49 CFR Appendix A to Part 355, Guidelines for the Regulatory Review

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Appendix A to Part 355 - Guidelines for the Regulatory Review

Each State shall review its laws and regulations to achieve compatibility with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Each State shall consider all related requirements on enforcement of the State's motor carrier safety regulations. The documentation shall be simple and brief.


The State review required by § 355.21 may be limited to those laws and regulations previously determined to be incompatible in the report of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Regulatory Review Panel issued in August 1990, or by subsequent determination by the Administrator under this part, and any State laws or regulations enacted or issued after August 1990.


The requirements must apply to all segments of the motor carrier industry, for-hire and private carriers of property and for-hire carriers of passengers.


Definitions of terms must be consistent with those in the FMCSRs.

Driver Qualifications

Require a driver to be properly licensed to drive a commercial motor vehicle; require a driver to be in good physical health, at least 21 years of age, able to operate a vehicle safely, and maintain a good driving record; prohibit drug and alcohol abuse; require a motor carrier to maintain a driver qualification file for each driver; and require a motor carrier to ensure that a driver is medically qualified.


The requirements for testing apply only to drivers of commercial motor vehicles as defined in 49 CFR part 383.

Driving of Motor Vehicles

Prohibit possession, use, or driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances (while on duty); and establish 0.04 percent as the level of alcohol in the blood at which a driver is considered under the influence of alcohol.

Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation

Require operational lights and reflectors; require systematically arranged and installed wiring; and require brakes working at the required performance level, and other key components included in 49 CFR part 393.

Hours of Service of Drivers

The following is a high-level summary of the hours-of-service regulations governing property and passenger carriers. The description below outlines only some of the major provisions, but does not capture all the detailed requirements. For the detailed provisions, which include rest breaks, sleeper berth, and records of duty status issues, see part 395 of this subchapter.

The hours-of-service regulations prohibit both property and passenger carriers from allowing or requiring any driver to drive as follows:

1. Property. More than 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty within a consecutive 14-hour duty period, and more than 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty, which includes two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., home terminal time. The restart may be used only once per week, or 168 hours, measured from the beginning of the previous restart.

2. Passenger. More than 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty within a 15-hour duty period, and more than 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.

Inspection and Maintenance

Prohibit a commercial motor vehicle from being operated when it is likely to cause an accident or a breakdown; require the driver to conduct a walk-around inspection of the vehicle before driving it to ensure that it can be safely operated; require the driver to prepare a driver vehicle inspection report; and require commercial motor vehicles to be inspected at least annually.

Hazardous Materials

Require a motor carrier or a person operating a commercial motor vehicle transporting hazardous materials to follow the safety and hazardous materials requirements.

State Determinations

1. Each State must determine whether its requirements affecting interstate motor carriers are “less stringent” than the Federal requirements. “Less stringent” requirements represent either gaps in the State requirements in relation to the Federal requirements as summarized under item number one in this appendix or State requirements which are less restrictive than the Federal requirements.

a. An example of a gap is when a State does not have the authority to regulate the safety of for-hire carriers of passengers or has the authority but chooses to exempt the carrier.

b. An example of a less restrictive State requirement is when a State allows a person under 21 years of age to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.

2. Each State must determine whether its requirements affecting interstate motor carriers are “more stringent” than the Federal requirements: “More stringent” requirements are more restrictive or inclusive in relation to the Federal requirements as summarized under item number one in this appendix. For example, a requirement that a driver must have 2 days off after working 5 consecutive days. The State would demonstrate that its more stringent requirements:

a. Have a “safety benefit;” for example, result in fewer accidents or reduce the risk of accidents;

b. Do not create “an undue burden on interstate commerce,” e.g., do not delay, interfere with, or increase that cost or the administrative burden for a motor carrier transporting property or passengers in interstate commerce; and

c. Are otherwise compatible with Federal safety requirements.

3. A State must adopt and enforce in a consistent manner the requirements referenced in the above guidelines in order for the FMCSA to accept the State's determination that it has compatible safety requirements affecting interstate motor carrier operations. Generally, the States would have up to 3 years from the effective date of the new Federal requirement to adopt and enforce compatible requirements. The FMCSA would specify the deadline when promulgating future Federal safety requirements. The requirements are considered of equal importance.

[ 57 FR 40962, Sept. 8, 1992, as amended at 58 FR 33776, June 21, 1993; 62 FR 37151, July 11, 1997; 65 FR 15110, Mar. 21, 2000; 78 FR 58478, Sept. 24, 2013; 79 FR 59455, Oct. 2, 2014; 81 FR 68344, Oct. 4, 2016]

Title 49 published on 16-Dec-2017 04:00

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 49 CFR Part 355 after this date.

  • 2016-10-04; vol. 81 # 192 - Tuesday, October 4, 2016
    1. 81 FR 68336 - General Technical, Organizational, Conforming, and Correcting Amendments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
      Final rule.
      Effective Date: The final rule is effective September 30, 2016.
      49 CFR Parts 355, 356, 365, 369, 370, 373, 374, 376, 377, 378, 382, 383, 384, 385, 386, 390, 391, 392, 395, 397, and 398