[USC02] 49 USC SUBTITLE VI, PART B, CHAPTER 311, SUBCHAPTER III: SAFETY REGULATION
Result 1 of 1
   
 
49 USC SUBTITLE VI, PART B, CHAPTER 311, SUBCHAPTER III: SAFETY REGULATION
From Title 49—TRANSPORTATIONSUBTITLE VI—MOTOR VEHICLE AND DRIVER PROGRAMSPART B—COMMERCIALCHAPTER 311—COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY

SUBCHAPTER III—SAFETY REGULATION

§31131. Purposes and findings

(a) Purposes.—The purposes of this subchapter are—

(1) to promote the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles;

(2) to minimize dangers to the health of operators of commercial motor vehicles and other employees whose employment directly affects motor carrier safety; and

(3) to ensure increased compliance with traffic laws and with the commercial motor vehicle safety and health regulations and standards prescribed and orders issued under this chapter.


(b) Findings.—Congress finds—

(1) it is in the public interest to enhance commercial motor vehicle safety and thereby reduce highway fatalities, injuries, and property damage;

(2) improved, more uniform commercial motor vehicle safety measures and strengthened enforcement would reduce the number of fatalities and injuries and the level of property damage related to commercial motor vehicle operations;

(3) enhanced protection of the health of commercial motor vehicle operators is in the public interest; and

(4) interested State governments can provide valuable assistance to the United States Government in ensuring that commercial motor vehicle operations are conducted safely and healthfully.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 999.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
31131(a) 49 App.:2501. Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, §§202, 203, 98 Stat. 2832.
31131(b) 49 App.:2502.

In subsection (a)(3), the words "this chapter" are substituted for "this Act" because title II of the Act of October 30, 1984 (Public Law 98–554, 98 Stat. 2832), amended and enacted provisions restated in this chapter.

Exemptions From Requirements of This Subchapter for Certain Farm Vehicles

For provisions relating to exemptions from certain requirements of this subchapter with respect to certain farm vehicles and individuals operating those vehicles, see section 32934 of Pub. L. 112–141, set out as a note under section 31136 of this title.

Traffic Law Initiative

Pub. L. 106–159, title II, §220, Dec. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1769, provided that:

"(a) In General.—In cooperation with one or more States, the Secretary may carry out a program to develop innovative methods of improving motor carrier compliance with traffic laws. Such methods may include the use of photography and other imaging technologies.

"(b) Report.—The Secretary shall transmit to Congress a report on the results of any program conducted under this section, together with any recommendations as the Secretary determines appropriate."

§31132. Definitions

In this subchapter—

(1) "commercial motor vehicle" means a self-propelled or towed vehicle used on the highways in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property, if the vehicle—

(A) has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of at least 10,001 pounds, whichever is greater;

(B) is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation;

(C) is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or

(D) is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous under section 5103 of this title and transported in a quantity requiring placarding under regulations prescribed by the Secretary under section 5103.


(2) "employee" means an operator of a commercial motor vehicle (including an independent contractor when operating a commercial motor vehicle), a mechanic, a freight handler, or an individual not an employer, who—

(A) directly affects commercial motor vehicle safety in the course of employment; and

(B) is not an employee of the United States Government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State acting in the course of the employment by the Government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State.


(3) "employer"—

(A) means a person engaged in a business affecting interstate commerce that owns or leases a commercial motor vehicle in connection with that business, or assigns an employee to operate it; but

(B) does not include the Government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State.


(4) "interstate commerce" means trade, traffic, or transportation in the United States between a place in a State and—

(A) a place outside that State (including a place outside the United States); or

(B) another place in the same State through another State or through a place outside the United States.


(5) "intrastate commerce" means trade, traffic, or transportation in a State that is not interstate commerce.

(6) "medical examiner" means an individual licensed, certified, or registered in accordance with regulations issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as a medical examiner.

(7) "regulation" includes a standard or order.

(8) "State" means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and, in sections 31136 and 31140–31142 1 of this title, a political subdivision of a State.

(9) "State law" includes a law enacted by a political subdivision of a State.

(10) "State regulation" includes a regulation prescribed by a political subdivision of a State.

(11) "United States" means the States of the United States and the District of Columbia.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1000; Pub. L. 104–88, title I, §104(f), Dec. 29, 1995, 109 Stat. 919; Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, §4008(a), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 404; Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §4116(c), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1728.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
31132 49 App.:2503. Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, §204, 98 Stat. 2833.

The text of 49 App.:2503(6) is omitted as unnecessary because of 1:1. The text of 49 App.:2503(8) is omitted as surplus because the complete name of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Regulatory Review Panel is used the first time the term appears in a section. The text of 49 App.:2503(9) is omitted as surplus because the complete name of the Secretary of Transportation is used the first time the term appears in a section.

References in Text

Section 31140 of this title, referred to in par. (8), was repealed by Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, §4008(d), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 404.

Amendments

2005—Pars. (6) to (11). Pub. L. 109–59 added par. (6) and redesignated former pars. (6) to (10) as (7) to (11), respectively.

1998—Par. (1)(A). Pub. L. 105–178, §4008(a)(1), inserted "or gross vehicle weight" after "rating" and ", whichever is greater" after "pounds".

Par. (1)(B). Pub. L. 105–178, §4008(a)(2), which directed substitution of "more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation;" for "passengers" and all that follows through semicolon at end, was executed by making the substitution for "passengers for compensation, but excluding vehicles providing taxicab service and having a capacity of not more than 6 passengers and not operated on a regular route or between specified places;" to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

1995—Par. (1)(B) to (D). Pub. L. 104–88 added subpars. (B) and (C), redesignated former subpar. (C) as (D), and struck out former subpar. (B) which read as follows: "is designed to transport more than 15 passengers including the driver; or".

Effective Date of 1995 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–88 effective Jan. 1, 1996, see section 2 of Pub. L. 104–88, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1301 of this title.

1 See References in Text note below.

§31133. General powers of the Secretary of Transportation

(a) General.—In carrying out this subchapter and regulations prescribed under section 31102 of this title, the Secretary of Transportation may—

(1) conduct and make contracts for inspections and investigations;

(2) compile statistics;

(3) make reports;

(4) issue subpenas;

(5) require production of records and property;

(6) take depositions;

(7) hold hearings;

(8) prescribe recordkeeping and reporting requirements;

(9) conduct or make contracts for studies, development, testing, evaluation, and training; and

(10) perform other acts the Secretary considers appropriate.


(b) Consultation.—In conducting inspections and investigations under subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall consult, as appropriate, with employers and employees and their authorized representatives and offer them a right of accompaniment.

(c) Delegation.—The Secretary may delegate to a State receiving a grant under section 31102 of this title those duties and powers related to enforcement (including conducting investigations) of this subchapter and regulations prescribed under this subchapter that the Secretary considers appropriate.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1001; Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, §4006(a), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 401.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
31133(a) 49 App.:2510(a), (b) (1st sentence). Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, §211, 98 Stat. 2841.
31133(b) 49 App.:2510(c).
31133(c) 49 App.:2510(b) (last sentence).

In subsection (a), the words before clause (1) are substituted for "In carrying out the Secretary's functions under this chapter, the Secretary is authorized to" and "to carry out the provisions of this chapter, or regulations issued pursuant to section 2302 of this Appendix" to eliminate unnecessary words. Clause (10) is substituted for "perform such acts . . . as the Secretary determines necessary". The text of 49 App.:2510(a) is omitted as covered by 49 App.:2510(b) (1st sentence).

In subsection (b), the words "In conducting inspections and investigations" are substituted for "To carry out the Secretary's inspection and investigation functions" to eliminate unnecessary words. The words "or the Secretary's agent" are omitted as unnecessary.

Amendments

1998—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 105–178 inserted "and make contracts for" after "conduct".

Border Staffing Standards

Pub. L. 106–159, title II, §218, Dec. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1767, as amended by Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §5101(e)(10), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1525, provided that:

"(a) Development and Implementation.—Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 9, 1999], the Secretary shall develop and implement appropriate staffing standards for Federal and State motor carrier safety inspectors in international border areas.

"(b) Factors To Be Considered.—In developing standards under subsection (a), the Secretary shall consider volume of traffic, hours of operation of the border facility, types of commercial motor vehicles, types of cargo, delineation of responsibility between Federal and State inspectors, and such other factors as the Secretary determines appropriate.

"(c) Maintenance of Effort.—The standards developed and implemented under subsection (a) shall ensure that the United States and each State will not reduce its respective level of staffing of motor carrier safety inspectors in international border areas from its average level staffing for fiscal year 2000.

"(d) Border Commercial Motor Vehicle and Safety Enforcement Programs.—

"(1) Enforcement.—If, on October 1, 2001, and October 1 of each fiscal year thereafter, the Secretary has not ensured that the levels of staffing required by the standards developed under subsection (a) are deployed, the Secretary should designate the amount made available for allocation under section 31104(a)(1) of title 49, United States Code, for such fiscal year for States, local governments, and other persons for carrying out border commercial motor vehicle safety programs and enforcement activities and projects.

"(2) Allocation.—If the Secretary makes a designation of an amount under paragraph (1), such amount shall be allocated by the Secretary to State agencies, local governments, and other persons that use and train qualified officers and employees in coordination with State motor vehicle safety agencies."

§31134. Requirement for registration and USDOT number

(a) In General.—Upon application, and subject to subsections (b) and (c), the Secretary shall register an employer or person subject to the safety jurisdiction of this subchapter. An employer or person may operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce only if the employer or person is registered by the Secretary under this section and receives a USDOT number. Nothing in this section shall preclude registration by the Secretary of an employer or person not engaged in interstate commerce. An employer or person subject to jurisdiction under subchapter I of chapter 135 of this title shall apply for commercial registration under section 13902 of this title.

(b) Withholding Registration.—The Secretary shall register an employer or person under subsection (a) only if the Secretary determines that—

(1) the employer or person seeking registration is willing and able to comply with the requirements of this subchapter and the regulations prescribed thereunder and chapter 51 and the regulations prescribed thereunder;

(2)(A) 1 during the 3-year period before the date of the filing of the application, the employer or person is not or was not related through common ownership, common management, common control, or common familial relationship to any other person or applicant for registration subject to this subchapter who, during such 3-year period, is or was unfit, unwilling, or unable to comply with the requirements listed in subsection (b)(1); or

(3) the employer or person has disclosed to the Secretary any relationship involving common ownership, common management, common control, or common familial relationship to any other person or applicant for registration subject to this subchapter.


(c) Revocation or Suspension of Registration.—The Secretary shall revoke the registration of an employer or person issued under subsection (a) after notice and an opportunity for a proceeding, or suspend the registration after giving notice of the suspension to the employer or person, if the Secretary determines that—

(1) the employer's or person's authority to operate pursuant to chapter 139 of this title is subject to revocation or suspension under sections 2 13905(d)(1) or 13905(f) of this title;

(2) the employer or person has knowingly failed to comply with the requirements listed in subsection (b)(1);

(3) the employer or person has not disclosed any relationship through common ownership, common management, common control, or common familial relationship to any other person or applicant for registration subject to this subchapter that the Secretary determines is or was unfit, unwilling, or unable to comply with the requirements listed in subsection (b)(1);

(4) the employer or person refused to submit to the safety review required by section 31144(g) of this title.


(d) Periodic Registration Update.—The Secretary may require an employer to update a registration under this section not later than 30 days after a change in the employer's address, other contact information, officers, process agent, or other essential information, as determined by the Secretary.

(e) State Authority.—Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting the authority of a State to issue a Department of Transportation number under State law to a person operating in intrastate commerce.

(Added Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, §32105(a), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 780.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 31134, Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1001; Pub. L. 104–287, §5(9), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3389, related to Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Regulatory Review Panel, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, §4008(c), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 404.

Effective Date

Section effective Oct. 1, 2012, see section 3(a) of Pub. L. 112–141, set out as an Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment note under section 101 of Title 23, Highways.

1 So in original. There is no subpar. (B).

2 So in original. Probably should be "section".

§31135. Duties of employers and employees

(a) In General.—Each employer and employee shall comply with regulations on commercial motor vehicle safety prescribed by the Secretary of Transportation under this subchapter that apply to the employer's or employee's conduct.

(b) Noncompliance.—

(1) Motor carriers.—Two or more motor carriers, employers, or persons shall not use common ownership, common management, common control, or common familial relationship to enable any or all such motor carriers, employers, or persons to avoid compliance, or mask or otherwise conceal non-compliance, or a history of non-compliance, with regulations prescribed under this subchapter or an order of the Secretary issued under this subchapter.

(2) Pattern.—If the Secretary finds that a motor carrier, employer, or person engaged in a pattern or practice of avoiding compliance, or masking or otherwise concealing noncompliance, with regulations prescribed under this subchapter, the Secretary—

(A) may withhold, suspend, amend, or revoke any part of the motor carrier's, employer's, or person's registration in accordance with section 13905 or 31134; and

(B) shall take into account such non-compliance for purposes of determining civil penalty amounts under section 521(b)(2)(D).


(3) Officers.—If the Secretary finds, after notice and an opportunity for proceeding, that an officer of a motor carrier, employer, or owner or operator has engaged in a pattern or practice of, or assisted a motor carrier, employer, or owner or operator in avoiding compliance, or masking or otherwise concealing noncompliance, while serving as an officer or such motor carrier, employer, or owner or operator, the Secretary may suspend, amend, or revoke any part of a registration granted to the officer individually under section 13902 or 31134.


(c) Regulations.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Secretary shall by regulation establish standards to implement subsection (b).

(d) Definitions.—In this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) Motor carrier.—The term "motor carrier" has the meaning such term has under section 13102.

(2) Officer.—The term "officer" means an owner, director, chief executive officer, chief operating officer, chief financial officer, safety director, vehicle maintenance supervisor, and driver supervisor of a motor carrier, regardless of the title attached to those functions, and any person, however designated, exercising controlling influence over the operations of a motor carrier.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1003; Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §4113(a), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1724; Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, §32112, July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 783.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
31135 49 App.:2504. Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, §205, 98 Stat. 2834.

References in Text

The date of enactment of this subsection, referred to in subsec. (c), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 109–59, which was approved Aug. 10, 2005.

Amendments

2012—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 112–141 added subsec. (b) and struck out former subsec. (b). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "If the Secretary finds that an officer of a motor carrier engages or has engaged in a pattern or practice of avoiding compliance, or masking or otherwise concealing noncompliance, with regulations on commercial motor vehicle safety prescribed under this subchapter, while serving as an officer of any motor carrier, the Secretary may suspend, amend, or revoke any part of the motor carrier's registration under section 13905."

2005Pub. L. 109–59 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserted heading, and added subsecs. (b) to (d).

Effective Date of 2012 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–141 effective Oct. 1, 2012, see section 3(a) of Pub. L. 112–141, set out as an Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment note under section 101 of Title 23, Highways.

§31136. United States Government regulations

(a) Minimum Safety Standards.—Subject to section 30103(a) of this title, the Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations on commercial motor vehicle safety. The regulations shall prescribe minimum safety standards for commercial motor vehicles. At a minimum, the regulations shall ensure that—

(1) commercial motor vehicles are maintained, equipped, loaded, and operated safely;

(2) the responsibilities imposed on operators of commercial motor vehicles do not impair their ability to operate the vehicles safely;

(3) the physical condition of operators of commercial motor vehicles is adequate to enable them to operate the vehicles safely and the periodic physical examinations required of such operators are performed by medical examiners who have received training in physical and medical examination standards and, after the national registry maintained by the Department of Transportation under section 31149(d) is established, are listed on such registry;

(4) the operation of commercial motor vehicles does not have a deleterious effect on the physical condition of the operators; and

(5) an operator of a commercial motor vehicle is not coerced by a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary to operate a commercial motor vehicle in violation of a regulation promulgated under this section, or chapter 51 or chapter 313 of this title.


(b) Eliminating and Amending Existing Regulations.—The Secretary may not eliminate or amend an existing motor carrier safety regulation related only to the maintenance, equipment, loading, or operation (including routing) of vehicles carrying material found to be hazardous under section 5103 of this title until an equivalent or more stringent regulation has been prescribed under section 5103.

(c) Procedures and Considerations.—(1) A regulation under this section shall be prescribed under section 553 of title 5 (without regard to sections 556 and 557 of title 5).

(2) Before prescribing regulations under this section, the Secretary shall consider, to the extent practicable and consistent with the purposes of this chapter—

(A) costs and benefits; and

(B) State laws and regulations on commercial motor vehicle safety, to minimize their unnecessary preemption.


(d) Effect of Existing Regulations.—If the Secretary does not prescribe regulations on commercial motor vehicle safety under this section, regulations on commercial motor vehicle safety prescribed by the Secretary before October 30, 1984, and in effect on October 30, 1984, shall be deemed in this subchapter to be regulations prescribed by the Secretary under this section.

(e) Exemptions.—The Secretary may grant in accordance with section 31315 waivers and exemptions from, or conduct pilot programs with respect to, any regulations prescribed under this section.

(f) Regulatory Impact Analysis.—

(1) In general.—Within each regulatory impact analysis of a proposed or final major rule issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Secretary shall, whenever practicable—

(A) consider the effects of the proposed or final rule on different segments of the motor carrier industry; and

(B) formulate estimates and findings based on the best available science.


(2) Scope.—To the extent feasible and appropriate, and consistent with law, an analysis described in paragraph (1) shall—

(A) use data that is representative of commercial motor vehicle operators or motor carriers, or both, that will be impacted by the proposed or final rule; and

(B) consider the effects on commercial truck and bus carriers of various sizes and types.


(g) Public Participation.—

(1) In general.—If a proposed rule under this part is likely to lead to the promulgation of a major rule, the Secretary, before publishing such proposed rule, shall—

(A) issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking; or

(B) proceed with a negotiated rulemaking.


(2) Requirements.—Each advance notice of proposed rulemaking issued under paragraph (1) shall—

(A) identify the need for a potential regulatory action;

(B) identify and request public comment on the best available science or technical information relevant to analyzing potential regulatory alternatives;

(C) request public comment on the available data and costs with respect to regulatory alternatives reasonably likely to be considered as part of the rulemaking; and

(D) request public comment on available alternatives to regulation.


(3) Waiver.—This subsection does not apply to a proposed rule if the Secretary, for good cause, finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons for such finding in the proposed or final rule) that an advance notice of proposed rulemaking is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.


(h) Rule of Construction.—Nothing in subsection (f) or (g) may be construed to limit the contents of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1003; Pub. L. 104–59, title III, §344, Nov. 28, 1995, 109 Stat. 610; Pub. L. 104–287, §5(60), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3394; Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, §4007(c), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 403; Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §4116(b), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1728; Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, §32911, July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 818; Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §5202, Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1534.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
31136(a) 49 App.:2505(a), (g). Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, §206(a)–(g), 98 Stat. 2834.
31136(b) 49 App.:2505(b).
31136(c) 49 App.:2505(c).
31136(d) 49 App.:2505(d), (e).
31136(e) 49 App.:2505(f).
31136(f) 49 App.:2505(h). Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, §206(h), 98 Stat. 2835; restated Nov. 18, 1988, Pub. L. 100–690, §9102(a), 102 Stat. 4528.

In subsection (a), the text of 49 App.:2505(g) is omitted because 5:ch. 7 applies unless otherwise stated. Before clause (1), the words "Not later than 18 months after October 30, 1984" are omitted because the time period specified has expired. The words "Subject to section 30103(a) of this title" are added to alert the reader to that section.

In subsection (c)(1), the words "except that the time periods specified in this subsection shall apply to the issuance of such regulations" are omitted because the time periods referred to do not appear in subsection (c) as enacted. The reference was probably to the time periods in a prior version of subsection (c). See S. 2174, 98th Cong., 2d Sess., §6(b) (as reported by the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate on May 2, 1984, in S. Rept. 98–424).

In subsection (d), the text of 49 App.:2505(d) is omitted as obsolete.

In subsection (f)(2)(C)(i), the words "an operator" are substituted for "such person" because only a natural person can have a medical or physical condition.

Amendments

2015—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 114–94 added subsec. (f) and redesignated and transferred former subsec. (f) of this section to subsec. (g) of section 31315 of this title.

Subsecs. (g), (h). Pub. L. 114–94, §5202(2), added subsecs. (g) and (h).

2012—Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 112–141 added par. (5).

2005—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 109–59 amended par. (3) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (3) read as follows: "the physical condition of operators of commercial motor vehicles is adequate to enable them to operate the vehicles safely; and".

1998—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 105–178 amended heading and text of subsec. (e) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (e) consisted of pars. (1) to (3) relating to waivers.

1996—Subsec. (e)(2)(A), (J), (3). Pub. L. 104–287 substituted "November 28, 1995" for "the date of the enactment of this paragraph".

1995—Subsec. (e)(1) to (3). Pub. L. 104–59 designated existing text as par. (1) and inserted heading, and added pars. (2) and (3).

Effective Date of 2015 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 114–94 effective Oct. 1, 2015, see section 1003 of Pub. L. 114–94, set out as a note under section 5313 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Effective Date of 2012 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–141 effective Oct. 1, 2012, see section 3(a) of Pub. L. 112–141, set out as an Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment note under section 101 of Title 23, Highways.

Effective Date of 2005 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 109–59 effective on the 365th day following Aug. 10, 2005, see section 4116(f) of Pub. L. 109–59, set out as an Effective Date note under section 31149 of this title.

Windshield Technology

Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §5301, Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1543, provided that:

"(a) In General.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 4, 2015], the Secretary [of Transportation] shall revise the regulations in section 393.60(e) of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (relating to the prohibition on obstructions to the driver's field of view) to exempt from that section the voluntary mounting on a windshield of vehicle safety technology likely to achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level of safety that would be achieved absent the exemption.

"(b) Vehicle Safety Technology Defined.—In this section, the term 'vehicle safety technology' includes a fleet-related incident management system, performance or behavior management system, speed management system, lane departure warning system, forward collision warning or mitigation system, and active cruise control system and any other technology that the Secretary considers applicable.

"(c) Rule of Construction.—For purposes of this section, any windshield mounted technology with a short term exemption under part 381 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, on the date of enactment of this Act, shall be considered likely to achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level of safety that would be achieved absent an exemption under subsection (a)."

Operators of Hi-Rail Vehicles

Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §5519, Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1558, provided that:

"(a) In General.—In the case of a commercial motor vehicle driver subject to the hours of service requirements in part 395 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, who is driving a hi-rail vehicle, the maximum on duty time under section 395.3 of such title for such driver shall not include time in transportation to or from a duty assignment if such time in transportation—

"(1) does not exceed 2 hours per calendar day or a total of 30 hours per calendar month; and

"(2) is fully and accurately accounted for in records to be maintained by the motor carrier and such records are made available upon request of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or the Federal Railroad Administration.

"(b) Hi-Rail Vehicle Defined.—In this section, the term 'hi-rail vehicle' means an internal rail flaw detection vehicle equipped with flange hi-rails."

Exemptions From Requirements for Certain Welding Trucks Used in Pipeline Industry

Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §5524, Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1560, provided that:

"(a) Covered Motor Vehicle Defined.—In this section, the term 'covered motor vehicle' means a motor vehicle that—

"(1) is traveling in the State in which the vehicle is registered or another State;

"(2) is owned by a welder;

"(3) is a pick-up style truck;

"(4) is equipped with a welding rig that is used in the construction or maintenance of pipelines; and

"(5) has a gross vehicle weight and combination weight rating and weight of 15,000 pounds or less.

"(b) Federal Requirements.—A covered motor vehicle, including the individual operating such vehicle and the employer of such individual, shall be exempt from the following:

"(1) Any requirement relating to registration as a motor carrier, including the requirement to obtain and display a Department of Transportation number, established under chapters 139 and 311 of title 49, United States Code.

"(2) Any requirement relating to driver qualifications established under chapter 311 of title 49, United States Code.

"(3) Any requirement relating to driving of commercial motor vehicles established under chapter 311 of title 49, United States Code.

"(4) Any requirement relating to parts and accessories and inspection, repair, and maintenance of commercial motor vehicles established under chapter 311 of title 49, United States Code.

"(5) Any requirement relating to hours of service of drivers, including maximum driving and on duty time, established under chapter 315 of title 49, United States Code."

Reliable Home Heating

Pub. L. 113–125, June 30, 2014, 128 Stat. 1388, provided that:

"SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

"This Act may be cited as the 'Reliable Home Heating Act'.

"SEC. 2. AUTHORITY TO EXTEND EMERGENCY DECLARATIONS FOR PURPOSES OF TEMPORARILY EXEMPTING MOTOR CARRIERS PROVIDING EMERGENCY RELIEF FROM CERTAIN SAFETY REGULATIONS.

"(a) Defined Term.—In this Act, the term 'residential heating fuel' includes—

"(1) heating oil;

"(2) natural gas; and

"(3) propane.

"(b) Authorization.—If the Governor of a State declares a state of emergency caused by a shortage of residential heating fuel and, at the conclusion of the initial 30-day emergency period (or a second 30-day emergency period authorized under this subsection), the Governor determines that the emergency shortage has not ended, any extension of such state of emergency by the Governor, up to 2 additional 30-day periods, shall be recognized by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as a period during which parts 390 through 399 of chapter III of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, shall not apply to any motor carrier or driver operating a commercial motor vehicle to provide residential heating fuel in the geographic area so designated as under a state of emergency.

"(c) Rulemaking.—The Secretary of Transportation shall amend section 390.23(a)(1)(ii) of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to conform to the provision set forth in subsection (b).

"(d) Savings Provision.—Nothing in this section may be construed to modify the authority granted to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Field Administrator under section 390.23(a) of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to offer temporary exemptions from parts 390 through 399 of such title.

"SEC. 3. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENT.

"The Administrator of the Energy Information Administration, using data compiled from the Administration's Weekly Petroleum Status Reports, shall notify the Governor of each State in a Petroleum Administration for Defense District if the inventory of residential heating fuel within such district has been below the most recent 5-year average for more than 3 consecutive weeks.

"SEC. 4. REVIEW.

"Not later than 12 months after the date of enactment of this Act [June 30, 2014], the Secretary of Transportation shall conduct a study of, and transmit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives, a report on the impacts of safety from the extensions issued by Governors according to this Act. In conducting the study, the Secretary shall review, at a minimum—

"(1) the safety implications of extending exemptions; and

"(2) a review of the exemption process to ensure clarity and efficiency during emergencies."

Motorcoach Enhanced Safety

Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, subtitle G, July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 809, provided that:

"SEC. 32701. SHORT TITLE.

"This subtitle may be cited as the 'Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act of 2012'.

"SEC. 32702. DEFINITIONS.

"In this subtitle:

"(1) Advanced glazing.—The term 'advanced glazing' means glazing installed in a portal on the side or the roof of a motorcoach that is designed to be highly resistant to partial or complete occupant ejection in all types of motor vehicle crashes.

"(2) Bus.—The term 'bus' has the meaning given the term in section 571.3(b) of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act [see section 3(a), (b) of Pub. L. 112–141, set out as Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment notes under section 101 of Title 23, Highways]).

"(3) Commercial motor vehicle.—Except as otherwise specified, the term 'commercial motor vehicle' has the meaning given the term in section 31132(1) of title 49, United States Code.

"(4) Direct tire pressure monitoring system.—The term 'direct tire pressure monitoring system' means a tire pressure monitoring system that is capable of directly detecting when the air pressure level in any tire is significantly under-inflated and providing the driver a low tire pressure warning as to which specific tire is significantly under-inflated.

"(5) Motor carrier.—The term 'motor carrier' means—

"(A) a motor carrier (as defined in section 13102(14) of title 49, United States Code); or

"(B) a motor private carrier (as defined in section 13102(15) of that title).

"(6) Motorcoach.—The term 'motorcoach' has the meaning given the term 'over-the-road bus' in section 3038(a)(3) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century [Pub. L. 105–178] (49 U.S.C. 5310 note), but does not include—

"(A) a bus used in public transportation provided by, or on behalf of, a public transportation agency; or

"(B) a school bus, including a multifunction school activity bus.

"(7) Motorcoach services.—The term 'motorcoach services' means passenger transportation by motorcoach for compensation.

"(8) Multifunction school activity bus.—The term 'multifunction school activity bus' has the meaning given the term in section 571.3(b) of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act).

"(9) Portal.—The term 'portal' means any opening on the front, side, rear, or roof of a motorcoach that could, in the event of a crash involving the motorcoach, permit the partial or complete ejection of any occupant from the motorcoach, including a young child.

"(10) Provider of motorcoach services.—The term 'provider of motorcoach services' means a motor carrier that provides passenger transportation services with a motorcoach, including per-trip compensation and contracted or chartered compensation.

"(11) Public transportation.—The term 'public transportation' has the meaning given the term in section 5302 of title 49, United States Code.

"(12) Safety belt.—The term 'safety belt' has the meaning given the term in section 153(i)(4)(B) of title 23, United States Code.

"(13) Secretary.—The term 'Secretary' means the Secretary of Transportation.

"SEC. 32703. REGULATIONS FOR IMPROVED OCCUPANT PROTECTION, PASSENGER EVACUATION, AND CRASH AVOIDANCE.

"(a) Regulations Required Within 1 Year.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall prescribe regulations requiring safety belts to be installed in motorcoaches at each designated seating position.

"(b) Regulations Required Within 2 Years.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall prescribe regulations that address the following commercial motor vehicle standards, if the Secretary determines that such standards meet the requirements and considerations set forth in subsections (a) and (b) of section 30111 of title 49, United States Code:

"(1) Roof strength and crush resistance.—The Secretary shall establish improved roof and roof support standards for motorcoaches that substantially improve the resistance of motorcoach roofs to deformation and intrusion to prevent serious occupant injury in rollover crashes involving motorcoaches.

"(2) Anti-ejection safety countermeasures.—The Secretary shall consider requiring advanced glazing standards for each motorcoach portal and shall consider other portal improvements to prevent partial and complete ejection of motorcoach passengers, including children. In prescribing such standards, the Secretary shall consider the impact of such standards on the use of motorcoach portals as a means of emergency egress.

"(3) Rollover crash avoidance.—The Secretary shall consider requiring motorcoaches to be equipped with stability enhancing technology, such as electronic stability control and torque vectoring, to reduce the number and frequency of rollover crashes among motorcoaches.

"(c) Commercial Motor Vehicle Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems.—Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall prescribe the following commercial vehicle regulation:

"(1) In general.—The Secretary shall consider requiring motorcoaches to be equipped with direct tire pressure monitoring systems that warn the operator of a commercial motor vehicle when any tire exhibits a level of air pressure that is below a specified level of air pressure established by the Secretary, if the Secretary determines that such standards meet the requirements and considerations set forth in subsections (a) and (b) of section 30111 of title 49, United States Code.

"(2) Performance requirements.—In any standard adopted under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall include performance requirements to meet the objectives identified in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

"(d) Tire Performance Standard.—Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall consider—

"(1) issuing a rule to upgrade performance standards for tires used on motorcoaches, including an enhanced endurance test and a new high-speed performance test; or

"(2) if the Secretary determines that a standard does not meet the requirements and considerations set forth in subsections (a) and (b) of section 30111 of title 49, United States Code, submit a report that describes the reasons for not prescribing such a standard to—

"(A) the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate;

"(B) the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives; and

"(C) the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives.

"(e) Application of Regulations.—

"(1) New motorcoaches.—Any regulation prescribed in accordance with subsection (a), (b), (c), or (d) shall—

"(A) apply to all motorcoaches manufactured more than 3 years after the date on which the regulation is published as a final rule;

"(B) take into account the impact to seating capacity of changes to size and weight of motorcoaches and the ability to comply with State and Federal size and weight requirements; and

"(C) be based on the best available science.

"(2) Retrofit assessment for existing motorcoaches.—

"(A) In general.—The Secretary may assess the feasibility, benefits, and costs with respect to the application of any requirement established under subsection (a) or (b)(2) to motorcoaches manufactured before the date on which the requirement applies to new motorcoaches under paragraph (1).

"(B) Report.—The Secretary shall submit a report on the assessment to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

"SEC. 32704. FIRE PREVENTION AND MITIGATION.

"(a) Research and Testing.—The Secretary shall conduct research and testing to determine the most prevalent causes of motorcoach fires and the best methods to prevent such fires and to mitigate the effect of such fires, both inside and outside the motorcoach. Such research and testing shall consider flammability of exterior components, smoke suppression, prevention of and resistance to wheel well fires, automatic fire suppression, passenger evacuation, causation and prevention of motorcoach fires, and improved fire extinguishers.

"(b) Standards.—Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary may issue fire prevention and mitigation standards for motorcoaches, based on the results of the Secretary's research and testing, taking into account highway size and weight restrictions applicable to motorcoaches, if the Secretary determines that such standards meet the requirements and considerations set forth in subsections (a) and (b) of section 30111 of title 49, United States Code.

"SEC. 32705. OCCUPANT PROTECTION, COLLISION AVOIDANCE, FIRE CAUSATION, AND FIRE EXTINGUISHER RESEARCH AND TESTING.

"(a) Safety Research Initiatives.—Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall complete the following research and testing:

"(1) Interior impact protection.—The Secretary shall research and test enhanced occupant impact protection technologies for motorcoach interiors to reduce serious injuries for all passengers of motorcoaches.

"(2) Compartmentalization safety countermeasures.—The Secretary shall research and test enhanced compartmentalization safety countermeasures for motorcoaches, including enhanced seating designs.

"(3) Collision avoidance systems.—The Secretary shall research and test forward and lateral crash warning systems applications for motorcoaches.

"(b) Rulemaking.—Not later than 2 years after the completion of each research and testing initiative required under subsection (a), the Secretary shall issue final motor vehicle safety standards if the Secretary determines that such standards meet the requirements and considerations set forth in subsections (a) and (b) of section 30111 of title 49, United States Code.

"SEC. 32706. CONCURRENCE OF RESEARCH AND RULEMAKING.

"(a) Requirements.—To the extent feasible, the Secretary shall ensure that research programs are carried out concurrently, and in a manner that concurrently assesses results, potential countermeasures, costs, and benefits.

"(b) Authority to Combine Rulemakings.—When considering each of the rulemaking provisions, the Secretary may initiate a single rulemaking proceeding encompassing all aspects or may combine the rulemakings as the Secretary deems appropriate.

"(c) Considerations.—If the Secretary undertakes separate rulemaking proceedings, the Secretary shall—

"(1) consider whether each added aspect of rulemaking may contribute to addressing the safety need determined to require rulemaking;

"(2) consider the benefits obtained through the safety belts rulemaking in section 32703(a); and

"(3) avoid duplicative benefits, costs, and countermeasures.

"SEC. 32707. IMPROVED OVERSIGHT OF MOTORCOACH SERVICE PROVIDERS.

"(a) Safety Reviews.—[Amended section 31144 of this title.]

"(b) Disclosure of Safety Performance Ratings of Motorcoach Services and Operations.—

"(1) Definitions.—In this subsection:

"(A) Motorcoach.—

"(i) In general.—Except as provided in clause (ii), the term 'motorcoach' has the meaning given the term 'over-the-road bus' in section 3038(a)(3) of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century [Pub. L. 105–178] (49 U.S.C. 5310 note).

"(ii) Exclusions.—The term 'motorcoach' does not include—

     "(I) a bus used in public transportation that is provided by a State or local government; or

     "(II) a school bus (as defined in section 30125(a)(1) of title 49, United States Code), including a multifunction school activity bus.

"(B) Motorcoach services and operations.—The term 'motorcoach services and operations' means passenger transportation by a motorcoach for compensation.

"(2) Requirements for the disclosure of safety performance ratings of motorcoach services and operations.—

"(A) In general.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish, through notice and opportunity for public to comment, requirements to improve the accessibility to the public of safety rating information of motorcoach services and operations.

"(B) Display.—In establishing the requirements under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall consider requirements for each motor carrier that owns or leases 1 or more motorcoaches that transport passengers subject to the Secretary's jurisdiction under section 13501 of title 49, United States Code, to prominently display safety fitness information pursuant to section 31144 of title 49, United States Code

"(i) in each terminal of departure;

"(ii) in the motorcoach and visible from a position exterior to the vehicle at the point of departure, if the motorcoach does not depart from a terminal; and

"(iii) at all points of sale for such motorcoach services and operations.

"SEC. 32708. REPORT ON FEASIBILITY, BENEFITS, AND COSTS OF ESTABLISHING A SYSTEM OF CERTIFICATION OF TRAINING PROGRAMS.

"Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall submit a report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives that describes the feasibility, benefits, and costs of establishing a system of certification of public and private schools and of motor carriers and motorcoach operators that provide motorcoach driver training.

"SEC. 32709. COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE PASSENGER ENDORSEMENT REQUIREMENTS.

"(a) In General.—Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall review and assess the current knowledge and skill testing requirements for a commercial driver's license passenger endorsement to determine what improvements to the knowledge test, the examination of driving skills, and the application of such requirements are necessary to ensure the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles designed or used to transport passengers.

"(b) Report.—Not later than 120 days after completion of the review and assessment under subsection (a), the Secretary of Transportation shall submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate—

"(1) a report on the review and assessment conducted under subsection (a);

"(2) a plan to implement any changes to the knowledge and skills tests; and

"(3) a timeframe by which the Secretary will implement the changes.

"SEC. 32710. SAFETY INSPECTION PROGRAM FOR COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES OF PASSENGERS.

"Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation shall complete a rulemaking proceeding to consider requiring States to establish a program for annual inspections of commercial motor vehicles designed or used to transport passengers, including an assessment of—

"(1) the risks associated with improperly maintained or inspected commercial motor vehicles designed or used to transport passengers;

"(2) the effectiveness of existing Federal standards for the inspection of such vehicles in—

"(A) mitigating the risks described in paragraph (1); and

"(B) ensuring the safe and proper operation condition of such vehicles; and

"(3) the costs and benefits of a mandatory inspection program.

"SEC. 32711. REGULATIONS.

"Any standard or regulation prescribed or modified pursuant to the Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act of 2012 shall be prescribed or modified in accordance with section 553 of title 5, United States Code."

Exemptions From Requirements for Covered Farm Vehicles

Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, §32934, July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 830, as amended by Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §5518, Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1558, provided that:

"(a) Federal Requirements.—A covered farm vehicle, including the individual operating that vehicle, shall be exempt from the following:

"(1) Any requirement relating to commercial driver's licenses established under chapter 313 of title 49, United States Code.

"(2) Any requirement relating to drug-testing established under chapter 313 of title 49, United States Code.

"(3) Any requirement relating to medical certificates established under—

"(A) subchapter III of chapter 311 of title 49, United States Code; or

"(B) chapter 313 of title 49, United States Code.

"(4) Any requirement relating to hours of service established under—

"(A) subchapter III of chapter 311 of title 49, United States Code; or

"(B) chapter 315 of title 49, United States Code.

"(5) Any requirement relating to vehicle inspection, repair, and maintenance established under—

"(A) subchapter III of chapter 311 of title 49, United States Code; or

"(B) chapter 315 of title 49, United States Code.

"(b) State Requirements.—

"(1) In general.—Federal transportation funding to a State may not be terminated, limited, or otherwise interfered with as a result of the State exempting a covered farm vehicle, including the individual operating that vehicle, from—

"(A) a requirement described in subsection (a) or a compatible State requirement; or

"(B) any other minimum standard provided by a State relating to the operation of that vehicle.

"(2) Exception.—Paragraph (1) does not apply with respect to a covered farm vehicle transporting hazardous materials that require a placard.

"(c) Covered Farm Vehicle Defined.—

"(1) In general.—In this section, the term 'covered farm vehicle' means a motor vehicle (including an articulated motor vehicle)—

"(A) that—

"(i) is traveling in the State in which the vehicle is registered or another State;

"(ii) is operated by—

     "(I) a farm owner or operator;

     "(II) a ranch owner or operator; or

     "(III) an employee or family member of an individual specified in subclause (I) or (II);

"(iii) is transporting to or from a farm or ranch—

     "(I) agricultural commodities;

     "(II) livestock; or

     "(III) machinery or supplies;

"(iv) except as provided in paragraph (2), is not used in the operations of a for-hire motor carrier; and

"(v) is equipped with a special license plate or other designation by the State in which the vehicle is registered to allow for identification of the vehicle as a farm vehicle by law enforcement personnel; and

"(B) that has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight, whichever is greater, that is—

"(i) 26,001 pounds or less; or

"(ii) greater than 26,001 pounds and traveling within the State or within 150 air miles of the farm or ranch with respect to which the vehicle is being operated.

"(2) Inclusion.—In this section, the term 'covered farm vehicle' includes a motor vehicle that meets the requirements of paragraph (1) (other than paragraph (1)(A)(iv)) and—

"(A) is operated pursuant to a crop share farm lease agreement;

"(B) is owned by a tenant with respect to that agreement; and

"(C) is transporting the landlord's portion of the crops under that agreement.

"(d) Safety Study.—The Secretary of Transportation shall conduct a study of the exemption required by subsection (a) as follows:

"(1) Data and analysis of covered farm vehicles shall include—

"(A) the number of vehicles that are operated subject to each of the regulatory exemptions permitted under subsection (a);

"(B) the number of drivers that operate covered farm vehicles subject to each of the regulatory exemptions permitted under subsection (a);

"(C) the number of crashes involving covered farm vehicles;

"(D) the number of occupants and non-occupants injured in crashes involving covered farm vehicles;

"(E) the number of fatalities of occupants and non-occupants killed in crashes involving farm vehicles;

"(F) crash investigations and accident reconstruction investigations of all fatalities in crashes involving covered farm vehicles;

"(G) overall operating mileage of covered farm vehicles;

"(H) numbers of covered farm vehicles that operate in neighboring States; and

"(I) any other data the Secretary deems necessary to analyze and include.

"(2) A listing of State regulations issued and maintained in each State that are identical to the Federal regulations that are subject to exemption in subsection (a).

"(3) The Secretary shall report the findings of the study to the appropriate committees of Congress not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act [see section 3(a), (b) of Pub. L. 112–141, set out as Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment notes under section 101 of Title 23, Highways].

"(e) Construction.—Nothing in this section shall be construed as authority for the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe regulations."

Hours of Service Rules for Operators Providing Transportation to Movie Production Sites

Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §4133, Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1744, provided that: "Notwithstanding sections 31136 and 31502 of title 49, United States Code, and any other provision of law, the maximum daily hours of service for an operator of a commercial motor vehicle providing transportation of property or passengers to or from a theatrical or television motion picture production site located within a 100 air mile radius of the work reporting location of such operator shall be those in effect under the regulations in effect under such sections on April 27, 2003."

Interstate Van Operations

Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §4136, Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1745, provided that: "The Federal motor carrier safety regulations that apply to interstate operations of commercial motor vehicles designed to transport between 9 and 15 passengers (including the driver) shall apply to all interstate operations of such carriers regardless of the distance traveled."

Authority To Promulgate Safety Standards for Retrofitting

Pub. L. 106–159, title I, §101(f), Dec. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1752, provided that: "The authority under title 49, United States Code, to promulgate safety standards for commercial motor vehicles and equipment subsequent to initial manufacture is vested in the Secretary and may be delegated."

Certain Exemptions

Pub. L. 106–159, title II, §229, as added and amended by Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §§4115(a), (c), 4130–4132, 4147, Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1726, 1743, 1744, 1749; Pub. L. 110–244, title III, §301(i), June 6, 2008, 122 Stat. 1616; Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, §32101(d), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 778; Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §§5508(c), 5522, Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1554, 1559, provided that:

"(a) Exemptions.—

"(1) Transportation of agricultural commodities and farm supplies.—Regulations prescribed by the Secretary [of Transportation] under sections 31136 and 31502 of title 49, United States Code, regarding maximum driving and on-duty time for drivers used by motor carriers shall not apply during planting and harvest periods, as determined by each State, to—

"(A) drivers transporting agricultural commodities from the source of the agricultural commodities to a location within a 150 air-mile radius from the source;

"(B) drivers transporting farm supplies for agricultural purposes from a wholesale or retail distribution point of the farm supplies to a farm or other location where the farm supplies are intended to be used within a 150 air-mile radius from the distribution point; or

"(C) drivers transporting farm supplies for agricultural purposes from a wholesale distribution point of the farm supplies to a retail distribution point of the farm supplies within a 150 air-mile radius from the wholesale distribution point.

"(2) Transportation and operation of ground water well drilling rigs.—Such regulations shall, in the case of a driver of a commercial motor vehicle who is used primarily in the transportation and operation of a ground water well drilling rig, permit any period of 7 or 8 consecutive days to end with the beginning of an off-duty period of 24 or more consecutive hours for the purposes of determining maximum driving and on-duty time. Except as required in section 395.3 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on the date of enactment of this sentence [Aug. 10, 2005], no additional off-duty time shall be required in order to operate such vehicle.

"(3) Transportation of construction materials and equipment.—Such regulations shall, in the case of a driver of a commercial motor vehicle who is used primarily in the transportation of construction materials and equipment, permit any period of 7 or 8 consecutive days to end with the beginning of an off-duty period of 24 or more consecutive hours for the purposes of determining maximum driving and on-duty time.

"(4) Operators of utility service vehicles.—

"(A) Inapplicability of federal regulations.—Such regulations shall not apply to a driver of a utility service vehicle.

"(B) Prohibition on state regulations.—A State, a political subdivision of a State, an interstate agency, or other entity consisting of two or more States, shall not enact or enforce any law, rule, regulation, or standard that imposes requirements on a driver of a utility service vehicle that are similar to the requirements contained in such regulations.

"(5) Snow and ice removal.—A State may waive the requirements of chapter 313 of title 49, United States Code, with respect to a vehicle that is being operated within the boundaries of an eligible unit of local government by an employee of such unit for the purpose of removing snow or ice from a roadway by plowing, sanding, or salting. Such waiver authority shall only apply in a case where the employee is needed to operate the vehicle because the employee of the eligible unit of local government who ordinarily operates the vehicle and who has a commercial drivers license is unable to operate the vehicle or is in need of additional assistance due to a snow emergency.

"(b) Preemption.—Except as provided in subsection (a)(4), nothing contained in this section shall require the preemption of State laws and regulations concerning the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles as the result of exemptions from Federal requirements provided under this section.

"(c) Review by the Secretary.—The Secretary [of Transportation] may conduct a rulemaking proceeding to determine whether granting any exemption provided by subsection (a) (other than paragraph (1), (2), or (4)) is not in the public interest and would have a significant adverse impact on the safety of commercial motor vehicles. If, at any time as a result of such a proceeding, the Secretary determines that granting such exemption would not be in the public interest and would have a significant adverse impact on the safety of commercial motor vehicles, the Secretary may prevent the exemption from going into effect, modify the exemption, or revoke the exemption. The Secretary may develop a program to monitor the exemption, including agreements with carriers to permit the Secretary to examine insurance information maintained by an insurer on a carrier.

"(d) Report.—The Secretary shall monitor the commercial motor vehicle safety performance of drivers of vehicles that are subject to an exemption under this section. If the Secretary determines that public safety has been adversely affected by an exemption granted under this section, the Secretary shall report to Congress on the determination.

"(e) Definitions.—In this section, the following definitions apply:

"(1) 7 or 8 consecutive days.—The term '7 or 8 consecutive days' means the period of 7 or 8 consecutive days beginning on any day at the time designated by the motor carrier for a 24-hour period.

"(2) 24-hour period.—The term '24-hour period' means any 24 consecutive hour period beginning at the time designated by the motor carrier for the terminal from which the driver is normally dispatched.

"(3) Ground water well drilling rig.—The term 'ground water well drilling rig' means any vehicle, machine, tractor, trailer, semi-trailer, or specialized mobile equipment propelled or drawn by mechanical power and used on highways to transport water well field operating equipment, including water well drilling and pump service rigs equipped to access ground water.

"(4) Transportation of construction materials and equipment.—The term 'transportation of construction materials and equipment' means the transportation of construction and pavement materials, construction equipment, and construction maintenance vehicles, by a driver to or from an active construction site (a construction site between initial mobilization of equipment and materials to the site to the final completion of the construction project) within a 75 air mile radius of the normal work reporting location of the driver, except that a State, upon notice to the Secretary, may establish a different air mile radius limitation for purposes of this paragraph if such limitation is between 50 and 75 air miles and applies only to movements that take place entirely within the State. This paragraph does not apply to the transportation of material found by the Secretary to be hazardous under section 5103 of title 49, United States Code, in a quantity requiring placarding under regulations issued to carry out such section.

"(5) Eligible unit of local government.—The term 'eligible unit of local government' means a city, town, borough, county, parish, district, or other public body created by or pursuant to State law which has a total population of 3,000 individuals or less.

"(6) Utility service vehicle.—The term 'utility service vehicle' means any commercial motor vehicle—

"(A) used in the furtherance of repairing, maintaining, or operating any structures or any other physical facilities necessary for the delivery of public utility services, including the furnishing of electric, gas, water, sanitary sewer, telephone, and television cable or community antenna service;

"(B) while engaged in any activity necessarily related to the ultimate delivery of such public utility services to consumers, including travel or movement to, from, upon, or between activity sites (including occasional travel or movement outside the service area necessitated by any utility emergency as determined by the utility provider); and

"(C) except for any occasional emergency use, operated primarily within the service area of a utility's subscribers or consumers, without regard to whether the vehicle is owned, leased, or rented by the utility.

"(7) Agricultural commodity.—The term 'agricultural commodity' means any agricultural commodity, non-processed food, feed, fiber, or livestock (including livestock as defined in section 602 of the Emergency Livestock Feed Assistance Act of 1988 (7 U.S.C. 1471) and insects).

"(8) Farm supplies for agricultural purposes.—The term 'farm supplies for agricultural purposes' means products directly related to the growing or harvesting of agricultural commodities during the planting and harvesting seasons within each State, as determined by the State, and livestock feed at any time of the year.

"(f) Emergency Condition Requiring Immediate Response.—

"(1) Propane or pipeline emergency.—A regulation prescribed under section 31136 or 31502 of title 49, United States Code, shall not apply to a driver of a commercial motor vehicle which is used primarily in the transportation of propane winter heating fuel or a driver of a motor vehicle used to respond to a pipeline emergency if such regulations would prevent the driver from responding to an emergency condition requiring immediate response.

"(2) Definition.—An emergency condition requiring immediate response is any condition that, if left unattended, is reasonably likely to result in immediate serious bodily harm, death, or substantial damage to property. In the case of propane such conditions shall include (but are not limited to) the detection of gas odor, the activation of carbon monoxide alarms, the detection of carbon monoxide poisoning, and any real or suspected damage to a propane gas system following a severe storm or flooding. An 'emergency condition requiring an immediate response' does not include requests to re-fill empty gas tanks. In the case of pipelines such conditions include (but are not limited to) indication of an abnormal pressure event, leak, release or rupture."

Protection of Existing Exemptions

Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, §4007(d), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 404, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section and section 31315 of this title] shall not apply to or otherwise affect a waiver, exemption, or pilot program in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act [June 9, 1998] under chapter 313 or section 31136(e) of title 49, United States Code."

Application of Regulations to Certain Commercial Motor Vehicles

Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, §4008(b), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 404, provided that: "Effective on the last day of the 1-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act [June 9, 1998], regulations prescribed under section 31136 of title 49, United States Code, shall apply to operators of commercial motor vehicles described in section 31132(1)(B) of such title (as amended by subsection (a)) to the extent that those regulations did not apply to those operators on the day before such effective date, except to the extent that the Secretary determines, through a rulemaking proceeding, that it is appropriate to exempt such operators of commercial motor vehicles from the application of those regulations."

Improved Interstate School Bus Safety

Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, §4024, June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 416, as amended by Pub. L. 107–110, title X, §1076(ii), Jan. 8, 2002, 115 Stat. 2094, required the Secretary to initiate a rulemaking, not later than 6 months after June 9, 1998, regarding applicability of commercial motor carrier safety regulations to interstate school transportation operations by local educational agencies.

Federal Highway Administration Rulemaking

Pub. L. 104–88, title IV, §408, Dec. 29, 1995, 109 Stat. 958, provided that:

"(a) Advance Notice.—The Federal Highway Administration shall issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking dealing with a variety of fatigue-related issues pertaining to commercial motor vehicle motor vehicle safety (including 8 hours of continuous sleep after 10 hours of driving, loading and unloading operations, automated and tamper-proof recording devices, rest and recovery cycles, fatigue and stress in longer combination vehicles, fitness for duty, and other appropriate regulatory and enforcement countermeasures for reducing fatigue-related incidents and increasing driver alertness) not later than March 1, 1996.

"(b) Rulemaking.—The Federal Highway Administration shall issue a notice of proposed rulemaking dealing with such issues within 1 year after issuance of the advance notice under subsection (a) is published and shall issue a final rule dealing with those issues within 2 years after the last day of such 1-year period."

Exemptions From Requirements Relating to Commercial Motor Vehicles and Their Operators

Pub. L. 104–59, title III, §345, Nov. 28, 1995, 109 Stat. 613, which related to exemption from certain regulatory or statutory requirements for transportation of agricultural commodities and farm supplies, transportation and operation of ground water well drilling rigs, transportation of construction materials and equipment, utility service vehicles, and vehicles operated for snow or ice removal, was repealed by Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §4115(d), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1726. The text of former section 345 of Pub. L. 104–59 was inserted as part of section 229 of Pub. L. 106–159, as added by section 4115(a) of Pub. L. 109–59, and is set out above.

Winter Home Heating Oil Delivery State Flexibility Program

Pub. L. 104–59, title III, §346, Nov. 28, 1995, 109 Stat. 615, as amended by Pub. L. 105–178, title I, §1211(j), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 192; Pub. L. 105–206, title IX, §9003(d)(3), July 22, 1998, 112 Stat. 839, which related to a pilot program for evaluating effects of maximum on-duty time regulations on winter home heating oil delivery, was repealed by Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §5101(e)(11), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1526, effective Oct. 1, 2016.

§31137. Electronic logging devices and brake maintenance regulations

(a) Use of Electronic Logging Devices.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2012, the Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations—

(1) requiring a commercial motor vehicle involved in interstate commerce and operated by a driver subject to the hours of service and the record of duty status requirements under part 395 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, be 1 equipped with an electronic logging device to improve compliance by an operator of a vehicle with hours of service regulations prescribed by the Secretary; and

(2) ensuring that an electronic logging device is not used to harass a vehicle operator.


(b) Electronic Logging Device Requirements.—

(1) In general.—The regulations prescribed under subsection (a) shall—

(A) require an electronic logging device—

(i) to accurately record commercial driver hours of service;

(ii) to record the location of a commercial motor vehicle;

(iii) to be tamper resistant; and

(iv) to be synchronized to the operation of the vehicle engine or be capable of recognizing when the vehicle is being operated;


(B) allow law enforcement to access the data contained in the device during a roadside inspection; and

(C) except as provided in paragraph (3), apply to a commercial motor vehicle beginning on the date that is 2 years after the date that the regulations are published as a final rule.


(2) Performance and design standards.—The regulations prescribed under subsection (a) shall establish performance standards—

(A) defining a standardized user interface to aid vehicle operator compliance and law enforcement review;

(B) establishing a secure process for standardized—

(i) and unique vehicle operator identification;

(ii) data access;

(iii) data transfer for vehicle operators between motor vehicles;

(iv) data storage for a motor carrier; and

(v) data transfer and transportability for law enforcement officials;


(C) establishing a standard security level for an electronic logging device and related components to be tamper resistant by using a methodology endorsed by a nationally recognized standards organization; and

(D) identifying each driver subject to the hours of service and record of duty status requirements under part 395 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations.


(3) Exception.—A motor carrier, when transporting a motor home or recreation vehicle trailer within the definition of the term "driveaway-towaway operation" (as defined in section 390.5 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations), may comply with the hours of service requirements by requiring each driver to use—

(A) a paper record of duty status form; or

(B) an electronic logging device.


(c) Certification Criteria.—

(1) In general.—The regulations prescribed by the Secretary under this section shall establish the criteria and a process for the certification of electronic logging devices to ensure that the device meets the performance requirements under this section.

(2) Effect of noncertification.—Electronic logging devices that are not certified in accordance with the certification process referred to in paragraph (1) shall not be acceptable evidence of hours of service and record of duty status requirements under part 395 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations.


(d) Additional Considerations.—The Secretary, in prescribing the regulations described in subsection (a), shall consider how such regulations may—

(1) reduce or eliminate requirements for drivers and motor carriers to retain supporting documentation associated with paper-based records of duty status if—

(A) data contained in an electronic logging device supplants such documentation; and

(B) using such data without paper-based records does not diminish the Secretary's ability to audit and review compliance with the Secretary's hours of service regulations; and


(2) include such measures as the Secretary determines are necessary to protect the privacy of each individual whose personal data is contained in an electronic logging device.


(e) Use of Data.—

(1) In general.—The Secretary may utilize information contained in an electronic logging device only to enforce the Secretary's motor carrier safety and related regulations, including record-of-duty status regulations.

(2) Measures to preserve confidentiality of personal data.—The Secretary shall institute appropriate measures to preserve the confidentiality of any personal data contained in an electronic logging device and disclosed in the course of an action taken by the Secretary or by law enforcement officials to enforce the regulations referred to in paragraph (1).

(3) Enforcement.—The Secretary shall institute appropriate measures to ensure any information collected by electronic logging devices is used by enforcement personnel only for the purpose of determining compliance with hours of service requirements.


(f) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) Electronic logging device.—The term "electronic logging device" means an electronic device that—

(A) is capable of recording a driver's hours of service and duty status accurately and automatically; and

(B) meets the requirements established by the Secretary through regulation.


(2) Tamper resistant.—The term "tamper resistant" means resistant to allowing any individual to cause an electronic device to record the incorrect date, time, and location for changes to on-duty driving status of a commercial motor vehicle operator under part 395 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, or to subsequently alter the record created by that device.


(g) Brakes and Brake Systems Maintenance Regulations.—The Secretary shall maintain regulations on improved standards or methods to ensure that brakes and brake systems of commercial motor vehicles are maintained properly and inspected by appropriate employees. At a minimum, the regulations shall establish minimum training requirements and qualifications for employees responsible for maintaining and inspecting the brakes and brake systems.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1004; Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, §§32301(b), 32931(a), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 786, 829; Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §§5507, 5508(b)(2), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1553, 1554.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
31137(a) 49 App.:2505 (note). Nov. 18, 1988, Pub. L. 100–690, §9104(b), 102 Stat. 4529.
31137(b) 49 App.:2521. Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, 98 Stat. 2829, §231; added Nov. 18, 1988, Pub. L. 100–690, §9110, 102 Stat. 4531.

In subsection (b), the text of 49 App.:2521(a) is omitted as executed.

References in Text

The date of enactment of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2012, referred to in subsec. (a), is the date of enactment of title II of div. C of Pub. L. 112–141, which was approved July 6, 2012.

Amendments

2015Pub. L. 114–94, §5508(b)(2), amended directory language of Pub. L. 112–141, §32301(b)(3). See 2012 Amendment note for subsecs. (a) to (f) below.

Subsec. (b)(1)(C). Pub. L. 114–94, §5507(1), substituted "except as provided in paragraph (3), apply to" for "apply to".

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 114–94, §5507(2), added par. (3).

2012Pub. L. 112–141, §32301(b)(1), substituted "Electronic logging devices and brake maintenance regulations" for "Monitoring device and brake maintenance regulations" in section catchline.

Subsecs. (a) to (f). Pub. L. 112–141, §32301(b)(3), as amended by Pub. L. 114–94, §5508(b)(2), added subsecs. (a) to (f) and struck out former subsec. (a). Prior to amendment, text of subsec. (a) read as follows: "If the Secretary of Transportation prescribes a regulation about the use of monitoring devices on commercial motor vehicles to increase compliance by operators of the vehicles with hours of service regulations of the Secretary, the regulation shall ensure that the devices are not used to harass vehicle operators. However, the devices may be used to monitor productivity of the operators." Former subsec. (b) redesignated (g).

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 112–141, §32931(a), which directed substitution of "The Secretary shall maintain" for "Not later than December 1, 1990, the Secretary shall prescribe", was executed by making the substitution for "Not later than December 31, 1990, the Secretary shall prescribe", to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Pub. L. 112–141, §32301(b)(2), redesignated subsec. (b) as (g).

Effective Date of 2015 Amendment

Amendment by section 5507 of Pub. L. 114–94 effective Oct. 1, 2015, see section 1003 of Pub. L. 114–94, set out as a note under section 5313 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §5508(b), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1554, provided that the amendment made by section 5508(b)(2) is effective as of July 6, 2012, and as if included in Pub. L. 112–141 as enacted.

Effective Date of 2012 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–141 effective Oct. 1, 2012, see section 3(a) of Pub. L. 112–141, set out as an Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment note under section 101 of Title 23, Highways.

1 So in original. Probably should be preceded by "to".

§31138. Minimum financial responsibility for transporting passengers

(a) General Requirement.—

(1) Transportation of passengers for compensation.—The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations to require minimum levels of financial responsibility sufficient to satisfy liability amounts established by the Secretary covering public liability and property damage for the transportation of passengers for compensation by motor vehicle in the United States between a place in a State and—

(A) a place in another State;

(B) another place in the same State through a place outside of that State; or

(C) a place outside the United States.


(2) Transportation of passengers not for compensation.—The Secretary may prescribe regulations to require minimum levels of financial responsibility sufficient to satisfy liability amounts established by the Secretary covering public liability and property damage for the transportation of passengers for commercial purposes, but not for compensation, by motor vehicle in the United States between a place in a State and—

(A) a place in another State;

(B) another place in the same State through a place outside of that State; or

(C) a place outside the United States.


(b) Minimum Amounts.—The level of financial responsibility established under subsection (a) of this section for a motor vehicle with a seating capacity of—

(1) at least 16 passengers shall be at least $5,000,000; and

(2) not more than 15 passengers shall be at least $1,500,000.


(c) Evidence of Financial Responsibility.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, financial responsibility may be established by evidence of one or a combination of the following if acceptable to the Secretary of Transportation:

(A) insurance, including high self-retention.

(B) a guarantee.

(C) a surety bond issued by a bonding company authorized to do business in the United States.


(2) A person domiciled in a country contiguous to the United States and providing transportation to which a minimum level of financial responsibility under this section applies shall have evidence of financial responsibility in the motor vehicle when the person is providing the transportation. If evidence of financial responsibility is not in the vehicle, the Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of the Treasury shall deny entry of the vehicle into the United States.

(3) A motor carrier may obtain the required amount of financial responsibility from more than one source provided the cumulative amount is equal to the minimum requirements of this section.

(4) Other persons.—The Secretary may require a person, other than a motor carrier (as defined in section 13102), transporting passengers by motor vehicle to file with the Secretary the evidence of financial responsibility specified in subsection (c)(1) in an amount not less than the greater of the amount required by subsection (b)(1) or the amount required for such person to transport passengers under the laws of the State or States in which the person is operating; except that the amount of the financial responsibility must be sufficient to pay not more than the amount of the financial responsibility for each final judgment against the person for bodily injury to, or death of, an individual resulting from the negligent operation, maintenance, or use of the motor vehicle, or for loss or damage to property, or both.

(d) Civil Penalty.—(1) If, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, the Secretary of Transportation finds that a person (except an employee acting without knowledge) has knowingly violated this section or a regulation prescribed under this section, the person is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each violation. A separate violation occurs for each day the violation continues.

(2) The Secretary of Transportation shall impose the penalty by written notice. In determining the amount of the penalty, the Secretary shall consider—

(A) the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation;

(B) with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior violations, the ability to pay, and any effect on the ability to continue doing business; and

(C) other matters that justice requires.


(3) The Secretary of Transportation may compromise the penalty before referring the matter to the Attorney General for collection.

(4) The Attorney General shall bring a civil action in an appropriate district court of the United States to collect a penalty referred to the Attorney General for collection under this subsection.

(5) The amount of the penalty may be deducted from amounts the Government owes the person. An amount collected under this section shall be deposited in the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account).

(e) Nonapplication.—This section does not apply to a motor vehicle—

(1) transporting only school children and teachers to or from school;

(2) providing taxicab service (as defined in section 13102);

(3) carrying not more than 15 individuals in a single, daily round trip to and from work; or

(4) providing transportation service within a transit service area under an agreement with a Federal, State, or local government funded, in whole or in part, with a grant under section 5307, 5310, or 5311, including transportation designed and carried out to meet the special needs of elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities; except that, in any case in which the transit service area is located in more than 1 State, the minimum level of financial responsibility for such motor vehicle will be at least the highest level required for any of such States.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1005; Pub. L. 104–88, title I, §104(c), (d), Dec. 29, 1995, 109 Stat. 919; Pub. L. 107–298, §3(b)(2), Nov. 26, 2002, 116 Stat. 2343; Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §§4120(a), 4121, Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1733, 1734; Pub. L. 110–244, title III, §305(a), June 6, 2008, 122 Stat. 1619.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
31138(a) 49:10927 (note). Sept. 20, 1982, Pub. L. 97–261, §18(a), 96 Stat. 1121.
31138(b) 49:10927 (note). Sept. 20, 1982, Pub. L. 97–261, §18(b), (c), 96 Stat. 1121.
31138(c) 49:10927 (note). Sept. 20, 1982, Pub. L. 97–261, §18(d), 96 Stat. 1121; Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, §224, 98 Stat. 2847.
31138(d) 49:10927 (note). Sept. 20, 1982, Pub. L. 97–261, §18(e), 96 Stat. 1122.
31138(e) 49:10927 (note). Sept. 20, 1982, Pub. L. 97–261, §18(f), (g), 96 Stat. 1122.

In subsection (b), before clause (1), the text of section 18(b)(1) (words beginning with "except") and (2) (words beginning with "except") and (c) of the Bus Regulatory Reform Act of 1982 (Public Law 97–261, 96 Stat. 1121) is omitted as expired. The word "minimal" is omitted as surplus.

In subsection (c)(1), the words "The Secretary shall establish, by regulation, methods and procedures to assure compliance with this section" are omitted as surplus.

In subsection (d)(4), the words "The Attorney General shall bring a civil action . . . to collect a penalty referred to the Attorney General for collection under this subsection" are substituted for "Such civil penalty may be recovered in an action brought by the Attorney General on behalf of the United States" for consistency in the revised title.

In subsection (d)(5), the words "when finally determined (or agreed upon in compromise)" are omitted as surplus.

In subsection (e), before clause (1), the text of section 18(g) of the Bus Regulatory Reform Act of 1982 (Public Law 97–261, 96 Stat. 1122) is omitted as unnecessary because of the restatement.

Amendments

2008—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 110–244, §305(a)(1), added subsec. (a) and struck out former subsec. (a). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations to require minimum levels of financial responsibility sufficient to satisfy liability amounts established by the Secretary covering public liability and property damage for the transportation of passengers by commercial motor vehicle in the United States between a place in a State and—

"(1) a place in another State;

"(2) another place in the same State through a place outside of that State; or

"(3) a place outside the United States."

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 110–244, §305(a)(2), struck out "commercial" before "motor vehicle" in two places.

2005—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109–59, §4120(a)(1), struck out "for compensation" after "passengers" and inserted "commercial" before "motor vehicle" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 109–59, §4120(a)(2), added par. (4).

Subsec. (d)(5). Pub. L. 109–59, §4121, substituted "Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account)" for "Treasury as miscellaneous receipts".

2002—Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 107–298 amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: "providing taxicab service, having a seating capacity of not more than 6 passengers, and not being operated on a regular route or between specified places;".

1995—Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 104–88, §104(c), added par. (3).

Subsec. (e)(4). Pub. L. 104–88, §104(d), added par. (4).

Effective Date of 1995 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–88 effective Jan. 1, 1996, see section 2 of Pub. L. 104–88, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1301 of this title.

Minimum Financial Responsibility

Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §5509, Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1554, provided that:

"(a) Transporting Property.—If the Secretary [of Transportation] proceeds with a rulemaking to determine whether to increase the minimum levels of financial responsibility required under section 31139 of title 49, United States Code, the Secretary shall consider, prior to issuing a final rule—

"(1) the rulemaking's potential impact on—

"(A) the safety of motor vehicle transportation; and

"(B) the motor carrier industry;

"(2) the ability of the insurance industry to provide the required amount of insurance;

"(3) the extent to which current minimum levels of financial responsibility adequately cover—

"(A) medical care;

"(B) compensation; and

"(C) other identifiable costs;

"(4) the frequency with which insurance claims exceed current minimum levels of financial responsibility in fatal accidents; and

"(5) the impact of increased levels on motor carrier safety and accident reduction.

"(b) Transporting Passengers.—

"(1) In general.—Prior to initiating a rulemaking to change the minimum levels of financial responsibility under section 31138 of title 49, United States Code, the Secretary shall complete a study specific to the minimum financial responsibility requirements for motor carriers of passengers.

"(2) Study contents.—A study under paragraph (1) shall include, to the extent practicable—

"(A) a review of accidents, injuries, and fatalities in the over-the-road bus and school bus industries;

"(B) a review of insurance held by over-the-road bus and public and private school bus companies, including companies of various sizes, and an analysis of whether such insurance is adequate to cover claims;

"(C) an analysis of whether and how insurance affects the behavior and safety record of motor carriers of passengers, including with respect to crash reduction; and

"(D) an analysis of the anticipated impacts of an increase in financial responsibility on insurance premiums for passenger carriers and service availability.

"(3) Consultation.—In conducting a study under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consult with—

"(A) representatives of the over-the-road bus and private school bus transportation industries, including representatives of bus drivers; and

"(B) insurers of motor carriers of passengers.

"(4) Report.—If the Secretary undertakes a study under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report on the results of the study."

§31139. Minimum financial responsibility for transporting property

(a) Definitions.—In this section—

(1) "farm vehicle" means a vehicle—

(A) designed or adapted and used only for agriculture;

(B) operated by a motor private carrier (as defined in section 10102 of this title); and

(C) operated only incidentally on highways.


(2) "interstate commerce" includes transportation between a place in a State and a place outside the United States, to the extent the transportation is in the United States.

(3) "State" means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.


(b) General Requirement and Minimum Amount.—(1) The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations to require minimum levels of financial responsibility sufficient to satisfy liability amounts established by the Secretary covering public liability, property damage, and environmental restoration for the transportation of property by motor carrier or motor private carrier (as such terms are defined in section 13102 of this title) in the United States between a place in a State and—

(A) a place in another State;

(B) another place in the same State through a place outside of that State; or

(C) a place outside the United States.


(2) The level of financial responsibility established under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be at least $750,000.

(c) Filing of Evidence of Financial Responsibility.—The Secretary may require a motor private carrier (as defined in section 13102) to file with the Secretary the evidence of financial responsibility specified in subsection (b) in an amount not less than the greater of the minimum amount required by this section or the amount required for such motor private carrier to transport property under the laws of the State or States in which the motor private carrier is operating; except that the amount of the financial responsibility must be sufficient to pay not more than the amount of the financial responsibility for each final judgment against the motor private carrier for bodily injury to, or death of, an individual resulting from negligent operation, maintenance, or use of the motor vehicle, or for loss or damage to property, or both.

(d) Requirements for Hazardous Matter and Oil.—(1) The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations to require minimum levels of financial responsibility sufficient to satisfy liability amounts established by the Secretary covering public liability, property damage, and environmental restoration for the transportation by motor vehicle in interstate or intrastate commerce of—

(A) hazardous material (as defined by the Secretary);

(B) oil or hazardous substances (as defined by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency); or

(C) hazardous wastes (as defined by the Administrator).


(2)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, the level of financial responsibility established under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be at least $5,000,000 for the transportation—

(i) of hazardous substances (as defined by the Administrator) in cargo tanks, portable tanks, or hopper-type vehicles, with capacities of more than 3,500 water gallons;

(ii) in bulk of class A explosives, poison gas, liquefied gas, or compressed gas; or

(iii) of large quantities of radioactive material.


(B) The Secretary of Transportation by regulation may reduce the minimum level in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph (to an amount not less than $1,000,000) for transportation described in subparagraph (A) in any of the territories of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands if—

(i) the chief executive officer of the territory requests the reduction;

(ii) the reduction will prevent a serious disruption in transportation service and will not adversely affect public safety; and

(iii) insurance of $5,000,000 is not readily available.


(3) The level of financial responsibility established under paragraph (1) of this subsection for the transportation of a material, oil, substance, or waste not subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be at least $1,000,000. However, if the Secretary of Transportation finds it will not adversely affect public safety, the Secretary by regulation may reduce the amount for—

(A) a class of vehicles transporting such a material, oil, substance, or waste in intrastate commerce (except in bulk); and

(B) a farm vehicle transporting such a material or substance in interstate commerce (except in bulk).


(e) Foreign Motor Carriers and Private Carriers.—Regulations prescribed under this section may allow foreign motor carriers and foreign motor private carriers (as those terms are defined in section 10530 of this title) providing transportation of property under a certificate of registration issued under section 10530 to meet the minimum levels of financial responsibility under this section only when those carriers are providing transportation for property in the United States.

(f) Evidence of Financial Responsibility.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, financial responsibility may be established by evidence of one or a combination of the following if acceptable to the Secretary of Transportation:

(A) insurance.

(B) a guarantee.

(C) a surety bond issued by a bonding company authorized to do business in the United States.

(D) qualification as a self-insurer.


(2) A person domiciled in a country contiguous to the United States and providing transportation to which a minimum level of financial responsibility under this section applies shall have evidence of financial responsibility in the motor vehicle when the person is providing the transportation. If evidence of financial responsibility is not in the vehicle, the Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of the Treasury shall deny entry of the vehicle into the United States.

(3) A motor carrier may obtain the required amount of financial responsibility from more than one source provided the cumulative amount is equal to the minimum requirements of this section.

(g) Civil Penalty.—(1) If, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, the Secretary of Transportation finds that a person (except an employee acting without knowledge) has knowingly violated this section or a regulation prescribed under this section, the person is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each violation. A separate violation occurs for each day the violation continues.

(2) The Secretary of Transportation shall impose the penalty by written notice. In determining the amount of the penalty, the Secretary shall consider—

(A) the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation;

(B) with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior violations, the ability to pay, and any effect on the ability to continue doing business; and

(C) other matters that justice requires.


(3) The Secretary of Transportation may compromise the penalty before referring the matter to the Attorney General for collection.

(4) The Attorney General shall bring a civil action in an appropriate district court of the United States to collect a penalty referred to the Attorney General for collection under this subsection.

(5) The amount of the penalty may be deducted from amounts the Government owes the person. An amount collected under this section shall be deposited in the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account).

(h) Nonapplication.—This section does not apply to a motor vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 pounds if the vehicle is not used to transport in interstate or foreign commerce—

(1) class A or B explosives;

(2) poison gas; or

(3) a large quantity of radioactive material.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1006; Pub. L. 104–88, title I, §104(e), Dec. 29, 1995, 109 Stat. 919; Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §§4120(b), 4121, Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1733, 1734; Pub. L. 110–244, title III, §§301(f), 305(b), June 6, 2008, 122 Stat. 1616, 1620.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
31139(a) 49:10927 (note). July 1, 1980, Pub. L. 96–296, §30(h), 94 Stat. 823; Jan. 6, 1983, Pub. L. 97–424, §406(c), 96 Stat. 2159; Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, §222(b), 98 Stat. 2847; Nov. 18, 1988, Pub. L. 100–690, §9112, 102 Stat. 4534.
31139(b) 49:10927 (note). July 1, 1980, Pub. L. 96–296, §30(a), 94 Stat. 820; Jan. 6, 1983, Pub. L. 97–424, §406(a), 96 Stat. 2158.
31139(c) 49:10927 (note). July 1, 1980, Pub. L. 96–296, §30(b), 94 Stat. 821; Jan. 6, 1983, Pub. L. 97–424, §406(a), 96 Stat. 2158; Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, §222(a), 98 Stat. 2846; Nov. 16, 1990, Pub. L. 101–615, §23, 104 Stat. 3272.
31139(d) 49:10927 (note). July 1, 1980, Pub. L. 96–296, 94 Stat. 793, §30(g); added Nov. 18, 1988, Pub. L. 100–690, §9112, 102 Stat. 4534.
31139(e) 49:10927 (note). July 1, 1980, Pub. L. 96–296, §30(c), 94 Stat. 822; Jan. 6, 1983, Pub. L. 97–424, §406(b), 96 Stat. 2158.
  July 1, 1980, Pub. L. 96–296, §30(e), 94 Stat. 822.
31139(f) 49:10927 (note). July 1, 1980, Pub. L. 96–296, §30(d), 94 Stat. 822.
31139(g) 49:10927 (note). July 1, 1980, Pub. L. 96–296, §30(f), 94 Stat. 823; Jan. 6, 1983, Pub. L. 97–424, §406(d), 96 Stat. 2159.

In subsection (a), before clause (1), the text of section 30(h)(3) of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 (Public Law 96–296, 94 Stat. 823) is omitted as surplus because the complete name of the Secretary of Transportation is used the first time the term appears in a section. In clause (3), the words "(including its use in the terms 'interstate' and 'intrastate')" are omitted as surplus.

In subsections (b)(2) and (c)(2) and (3), the word "minimal" is omitted as surplus.

In subsection (b)(2), the words "for any vehicle" are omitted as surplus. The words beginning with "except" are omitted as expired. The text of section 30(a)(3) of the Act (Public Law 96–296, 94 Stat. 821) is omitted because the regulations have been issued. See 49 C.F.R. part 387.

In subsection (c)(2), the text of section 30(b)(2)(B) of the Act (Public Law 96–296, 94 Stat. 821) is omitted as expired.

In subsection (c)(3), before clause (A), the text of section 30(b)(3)(A) of the Act (Public Law 96–296, 94 Stat. 821) is omitted as expired. The text of section 30(b)(4) of the Act (Public Law 96–296, 94 Stat. 822) is omitted because the regulations have been issued. See 49 C.F.R. part 387. The words "for any vehicle . . . in interstate or intrastate commerce" are omitted as unnecessary because of the reference to paragraph (1).

In subsection (e)(1), the words "The Secretary shall establish, by regulation, methods and procedures to assure compliance with this section" are omitted as surplus. The text of section 30(e) of the Act (Public Law 96–296, 94 Stat. 822) is omitted as executed.

In subsection (f)(4), the words "The Attorney General shall bring a civil action . . . to collect a penalty referred to the Attorney General for collection under this subsection" are substituted for "Such civil penalty may be recovered in an action brought by the Attorney General on behalf of the United States" for consistency in the revised title.

In subsection (f)(5), the words "when finally determined (or agreed upon in compromise)" are omitted as surplus.

In subsection (g)(1) and (2), the words "any quantity of" are omitted as surplus.

Amendments

2008—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 110–244, §305(b)(1), in introductory provisions, substituted "motor carrier or motor private carrier (as such terms are defined in section 13102 of this title)" for "commercial motor vehicle".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 110–244, §305(b)(2), struck out "commercial" before "motor vehicle".

Subsec. (g)(5). Pub. L. 110–244, §301(f), amended Pub. L. 109–59, §4121. See 2005 Amendment note below.

2005—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 109–59, §4120(b)(1), struck out "for compensation" after "property" and inserted "commercial" before "motor vehicle" in introductory provisions.

Subsecs. (c) to (f). Pub. L. 109–59, §4120(b)(2), (3), added subsec. (c) and redesignated former subsecs. (c) to (e) as (d) to (f), respectively. Former subsec. (f) redesignated (g).

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 109–59, §4120(b)(2), redesignated subsec. (f) as (g). Former subsec. (g) redesignated (h).

Subsec. (g)(5). Pub. L. 109–59, §4121, as amended by Pub. L. 110–244, §301(f), substituted "Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account)" for "Treasury as miscellaneous receipts".

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 109–59, §4120(b)(2), redesignated subsec. (g) as (h).

1995—Subsec. (e)(3). Pub. L. 104–88 added par. (3).

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment by section 301(f) of Pub. L. 110–244 effective as of the date of enactment of Pub. L. 109–59 (Aug. 10, 2005) and to be treated as included in Pub. L. 109–59 as of that date, and provisions of Pub. L. 109–59, as in effect on the day before June 6, 2008, that are amended by Pub. L. 110–244 to be treated as not enacted, see section 121(b) of Pub. L. 110–244, set out as a note under section 101 of Title 23, Highways.

Effective Date of 1995 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–88 effective Jan. 1, 1996, see section 2 of Pub. L. 104–88, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1301 of this title.

[§31140. Repealed. Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, §4008(d), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 404]

Section, Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1008, related to submission of State laws and regulations for review by Secretary of Transportation and Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Regulatory Review Panel.

§31141. Review and preemption of State laws and regulations

(a) Preemption After Decision.—A State may not enforce a State law or regulation on commercial motor vehicle safety that the Secretary of Transportation decides under this section may not be enforced.

(b) Submission of Regulation.—A State receiving funds made available under section 31104 that enacts a State law or issues a regulation on commercial motor vehicle safety shall submit a copy of the law or regulation to the Secretary immediately after the enactment or issuance.

(c) Review and Decisions by Secretary.—

(1) Review.—The Secretary shall review State laws and regulations on commercial motor vehicle safety. The Secretary shall decide whether the State law or regulation—

(A) has the same effect as a regulation prescribed by the Secretary under section 31136;

(B) is less stringent than such regulation; or

(C) is additional to or more stringent than such regulation.


(2) Regulations with same effect.—If the Secretary decides a State law or regulation has the same effect as a regulation prescribed by the Secretary under section 31136 of this title, the State law or regulation may be enforced.

(3) Less stringent regulations.—If the Secretary decides a State law or regulation is less stringent than a regulation prescribed by the Secretary under section 31136 of this title, the State law or regulation may not be enforced.

(4) Additional or more stringent regulations.—If the Secretary decides a State law or regulation is additional to or more stringent than a regulation prescribed by the Secretary under section 31136 of this title, the State law or regulation may be enforced unless the Secretary also decides that—

(A) the State law or regulation has no safety benefit;

(B) the State law or regulation is incompatible with the regulation prescribed by the Secretary; or

(C) enforcement of the State law or regulation would cause an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce.


(5) Consideration of effect on interstate commerce.—In deciding under paragraph (4) whether a State law or regulation will cause an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce, the Secretary may consider the effect on interstate commerce of implementation of that law or regulation with the implementation of all similar laws and regulations of other States.


(d) Waivers.—(1) A person (including a State) may petition the Secretary for a waiver of a decision of the Secretary that a State law or regulation may not be enforced under this section. The Secretary shall grant the waiver, as expeditiously as possible, if the person demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the waiver is consistent with the public interest and the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles.

(2) Before deciding whether to grant or deny a petition for a waiver under this subsection, the Secretary shall give the petitioner an opportunity for a hearing on the record.

(e) Written Notice of Decisions.—Not later than 10 days after making a decision under subsection (c) of this section that a State law or regulation may not be enforced, the Secretary shall give written notice to the State of that decision.

(f) Judicial Review and Venue.—(1) Not later than 60 days after the Secretary makes a decision under subsection (c) of this section, or grants or denies a petition for a waiver under subsection (d) of this section, a person (including a State) adversely affected by the decision, grant, or denial may file a petition for judicial review. The petition may be filed in the court of appeals of the United States for the District of Columbia Circuit or in the court of appeals of the United States for the circuit in which the person resides or has its principal place of business.

(2) The court has jurisdiction to review the decision, grant, or denial and to grant appropriate relief, including interim relief, as provided in chapter 7 of title 5.

(3) A judgment of a court under this subsection may be reviewed only by the Supreme Court under section 1254 of title 28.

(4) The remedies provided for in this subsection are in addition to other remedies provided by law.

(g) Initiating Review Proceedings.—To review a State law or regulation on commercial motor vehicle safety under this section, the Secretary may initiate a regulatory proceeding on the Secretary's own initiative or on petition of an interested person (including a State).

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1008; Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, §4008(e), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 404.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
31141(a) 49 App.:2507(a). Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, §208(a)–(g), (i), 98 Stat. 2836, 2838.
31141(b) 49 App.:2507(b).
31141(c) 49 App.:2507(c).
31141(d) 49 App.:2507(d).
31141(e) 49 App.:2507(e).
31141(f) 49 App.:2507(f).
31141(g) 49 App.:2507(g).
31141(h) 49 App.:2507(h). Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, §208(h), 98 Stat. 2838; Nov. 18, 1988, Pub. L. 100–690, §9109, 102 Stat. 4530.
  49 App.:2507(i).

In this section, language about whether a State law or regulation may be "in effect" is omitted as redundant to language about whether it may be "enforced". The words "regulatory proceeding" are substituted for "rulemaking proceeding" for consistency in the revised title and because "rule" is synonymous with "regulation".

In subsection (a), the words "with respect to commercial motor vehicles" are omitted as surplus.

In subsection (b)(1), the words "Not later than 18 months after October 30, 1984, and . . . thereafter" are omitted as obsolete.

In subsection (g)(1), the words "court of appeals of the United States for the District of Columbia Circuit" are substituted for "United States court of appeals for the District of Columbia" to be more precise.

In subsection (g)(2), the words "Upon the filing of a petition under paragraph (1) of this subsection" are omitted as surplus.

Subsection (g)(3) is substituted for 49 App.:2507(g)(3) for consistency in this part and to eliminate unnecessary words.

In subsection (h), the text of 49 App.:2507(h) and the words "After the last day of the 48-month period beginning on October 30, 1984" are omitted as obsolete.

Amendments

1998—Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 105–178, §4008(e)(1), added subsecs. (b) and (c) and struck out headings and text of former subsecs. (b) and (c) which related to analysis and decisions by Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Regulatory Review Panel and to review and decisions by Secretary, respectively.

Subsecs. (e) to (h). Pub. L. 105–178, §4008(e)(2), (3), redesignated subsecs. (f) to (h) as (e) to (g), respectively, and struck out heading and text of former subsec. (e). Text read as follows: "The Secretary may consolidate regulatory proceedings under this section if the Secretary decides that the consolidation will not adversely affect a party to a proceeding."

§31142. Inspection of vehicles

(a) Inspection of Safety Equipment.—On the instruction of an authorized enforcement official of a State or of the United States Government, a commercial motor vehicle is required to pass an inspection of all safety equipment required under the regulations issued under section 31136.

(b) Inspection of Vehicles and Record Retention.—The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations on Government standards for inspection of commercial motor vehicles and retention by employers of records of an inspection. The standards shall provide for annual or more frequent inspections of a commercial motor vehicle unless the Secretary finds that another inspection system is as effective as an annual or more frequent inspection system. Regulations prescribed under this subsection are deemed to be regulations prescribed under section 31136 of this title.

(c) Preemption.—(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, this subchapter and section 31102 of this title do not—

(A) prevent a State or voluntary group of States from imposing more stringent standards for use in their own periodic roadside inspection programs of commercial motor vehicles;

(B) prevent a State from enforcing a program for inspection of commercial motor vehicles that the Secretary decides is as effective as the Government standards prescribed under subsection (b) of this section;

(C) prevent a State from participating in the activities of a voluntary group of States enforcing a program for inspection of commercial motor vehicles; or

(D) require a State that is enforcing a program described in clause (B) or (C) of this paragraph to enforce a Government standard prescribed under subsection (b) of this section or to adopt a provision on inspection of commercial motor vehicles in addition to that program to comply with the Government standards.


(2) The Government standards prescribed under subsection (b) of this section shall preempt a program of a State described in paragraph (1)(C) of this subsection as the program applies to the inspection of commercial motor vehicles in that State. The State may not enforce the program if the Secretary—

(A) decides, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, that the State is not enforcing the program in a way that achieves the objectives of this section; and

(B) after making a decision under clause (A) of this paragraph, provides the State with a 6-month period to improve the enforcement of the program to achieve the objectives of this section.


(d) Inspection To Be Accepted as Adequate in All States.—A periodic inspection of a commercial motor vehicle under the Government standards prescribed under subsection (b) of this section or a program described in subsection (c)(1)(B) or (C) of this section that is being enforced shall be recognized as adequate in every State for the period of the inspection. This subsection does not prohibit a State from making random inspections of commercial motor vehicles.

(e) Effect of Government Standards.—The Government standards prescribed under subsection (b) of this section may not be enforced as the standards apply to the inspection of commercial motor vehicles in a State enforcing a program described in subsection (c)(1)(B) or (C) of this section if the Secretary decides that it is in the public interest and consistent with public safety for the Government standards not to be enforced as they apply to that inspection.

(f) Application of State Regulations to Government-Leased Vehicles and Operators.—A State receiving financial assistance under section 31102 of this title in a fiscal year may enforce in that fiscal year a regulation on commercial motor vehicle safety adopted by the State as the regulation applies to commercial motor vehicles and operators leased to the Government.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1010; Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, §4008(f), (g), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 405.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
31142(a) 49 App.:2509(a). Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, §210(a)–(f), 98 Stat. 2839.
31142(b) 49 App.:2509(b), (c).
31142(c) 49 App.:2509(d).
31142(d) 49 App.:2509(e).
31142(e) 49 App.:2509(f).
31142(f) 49 App.:2509(g). Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, 98 Stat. 2829, §210(g); added Nov. 16, 1990, Pub. L. 101–615, §24, 104 Stat. 3273.

In this section, language about whether a State law or regulation may be "in effect" is omitted as redundant to language about whether it may be "enforced".

In subsection (b), the words "shall prescribe regulations on" are substituted for "shall, by rule, establish" for consistency in the revised title and with other titles of the United States Code and because "rule" is synonymous with "regulation". The words "For purposes of this chapter" are omitted as unnecessary. The text of 49 App.:2509(c) is omitted as executed.

In subsection (c)(1), before clause (A), the words "this subchapter and section 31102 of this title do not" are substituted for "nothing in section 2302 of this Appendix or section 2507 of this Appendix or any other provision of this chapter shall be construed as" to eliminate unnecessary words.

Amendments

1998—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105–178, §4008(f), substituted "the regulations issued under section 31136" for "part 393 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations".

Subsec. (c)(1)(C). Pub. L. 105–178, §4008(g), amended subpar. (C) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (C) read as follows: "prevent a State from enforcing a program for inspection of commercial motor vehicles that meets the requirements for membership in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, as those requirements were in effect on October 30, 1984; or".

Update of Annual Inspection Regulations

Pub. L. 116–94, div. H, title I, §132, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 2955, provided that: "The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shall update annual inspection regulations under Appendix G to subchapter B of chapter III of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, as recommended by GAO–19–264."

§31143. Investigating complaints and protecting complainants

(a) Investigating Complaints.—The Secretary of Transportation shall conduct a timely investigation of a nonfrivolous written complaint alleging that a substantial violation of a regulation prescribed under this subchapter is occurring or has occurred within the prior 60 days. The Secretary shall give the complainant timely notice of the findings of the investigation. The Secretary is not required to conduct separate investigations of duplicative complaints.

(b) Protecting Complainants.—Notwithstanding section 552 of title 5, the Secretary may disclose the identity of a complainant only if disclosure is necessary to prosecute a violation. If disclosure becomes necessary, the Secretary shall take every practical means within the Secretary's authority to ensure that the complainant is not subject to harassment, intimidation, disciplinary action, discrimination, or financial loss because of the disclosure.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1012.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
31143(a) 49 App.:2511(a). Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, §212, 98 Stat. 2841.
31143(b) 49 App.:2511(b).

Telephone Hotline for Reporting Safety Violations

Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, §4017, June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 413, as amended by Pub. L. 106–159, title II, §213, Dec. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1766, provided that:

"(a) In General.—For a period of not less than 2 years beginning on or before the 90th day following the date of enactment of this Act [June 9, 1998], the Secretary [of Transportation] shall establish, maintain, and promote the use of a nationwide toll-free telephone system to be used by drivers of commercial motor vehicles and others to report potential violations of Federal motor carrier safety regulations.

"(b) Monitoring.—The Secretary shall monitor reports received by the telephone system and may consider nonfrivolous information provided by such reports in setting priorities for motor carrier safety audits and other enforcement activities.

"(c) Staffing.—The toll-free telephone system shall be staffed 24 hours a day 7 days a week by individuals knowledgeable about Federal motor carrier safety regulations and procedures.

"(d) Protection of Persons Reporting Violations.—

"(1) Prohibition.—A person reporting a potential violation to the telephone system while acting in good faith may not be discharged, disciplined, or discriminated against regarding pay, terms, or privileges of employment because of the reporting of such violation.

"(2) Applicability of section 31105 of title 49.—For purposes of section 31105 of title 49, United States Code, a violation or alleged violation of paragraph (1) shall be treated as a violation of section 31105(a) of such title.

"(e) Funding.—From amounts set aside under [former] section 104(a)(1)(B) of title 23, United States Code, the Secretary may use not more than $250,000 for fiscal year 1999 and $375,000 for each of fiscal years 2000 through 2003 to carry out this section."

§31144. Safety fitness of owners and operators

(a) In General.—The Secretary shall—

(1) determine whether an owner or operator is fit to operate safely commercial motor vehicles, utilizing among other things the accident record of an owner or operator operating in interstate commerce and the accident record and safety inspection record of such owner or operator—

(A) in operations that affect interstate commerce within the United States; and

(B) in operations in Canada and Mexico if the owner or operator also conducts operations within the United States;


(2) periodically update such safety fitness determinations;

(3) make such final safety fitness determinations readily available to the public; and

(4) prescribe by regulation penalties for violations of this section consistent with section 521.


(b) Procedure.—The Secretary shall maintain by regulation a procedure for determining the safety fitness of an owner or operator. The procedure shall include, at a minimum, the following elements:

(1) Specific initial and continuing requirements with which an owner or operator must comply to demonstrate safety fitness.

(2) A methodology the Secretary will use to determine whether an owner or operator is fit.

(3) Specific time frames within which the Secretary will determine whether an owner or operator is fit.


(c) Prohibited Transportation.—

(1) In general.—Except as provided in section 521(b)(5)(A) and this subsection, an owner or operator who the Secretary determines is not fit may not operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce beginning on the 61st day after the date of such fitness determination and until the Secretary determines such owner or operator is fit.

(2) Owners or operators transporting passengers.—With regard to owners or operators of commercial motor vehicles designed or used to transport passengers, an owner or operator who the Secretary determines is not fit may not operate in interstate commerce beginning on the 46th day after the date of such fitness determination and until the Secretary determines such owner or operator is fit.

(3) Owners or operators transporting hazardous material.—With regard to owners or operators of commercial motor vehicles designed or used to transport hazardous material for which placarding of a motor vehicle is required under regulations prescribed under chapter 51, an owner or operator who the Secretary determines is not fit may not operate in interstate commerce beginning on the 46th day after the date of such fitness determination and until the Secretary determines such owner or operator is fit. A violation of this paragraph by an owner or operator transporting hazardous material shall be considered a violation of chapter 51, and shall be subject to the penalties in sections 5123 and 5124.

(4) Secretary's discretion.—Except for owners or operators described in paragraphs (2) and (3), the Secretary may allow an owner or operator who is not fit to continue operating for an additional 60 days after the 61st day after the date of the Secretary's fitness determination, if the Secretary determines that such owner or operator is making a good faith effort to become fit.

(5) Transportation affecting interstate commerce.—Owners or operators of commercial motor vehicles prohibited from operating in interstate commerce pursuant to paragraphs (1) through (3) of this section may not operate any commercial motor vehicle that affects interstate commerce until the Secretary determines that such owner or operator is fit.


(d) Determination of Unfitness by State.—If a State that receives motor carrier safety assistance program funds under section 31102 determines, by applying the standards prescribed by the Secretary under subsection (b), that an owner or operator of a commercial motor vehicle that has its principal place of business in that State and operates in intrastate commerce is unfit under such standards and prohibits the owner or operator from operating such vehicle in the State, the Secretary shall prohibit the owner or operator from operating such vehicle in interstate commerce until the State determines that the owner or operator is fit.

(e) Review of Fitness Determinations.—

(1) In general.—Not later than 45 days after an unfit owner or operator requests a review, the Secretary shall review such owner's or operator's compliance with those requirements with which the owner or operator failed to comply and resulted in the Secretary determining that the owner or operator was not fit.

(2) Owners or operators transporting passengers.—Not later than 30 days after an unfit owner or operator of commercial motor vehicles designed or used to transport passengers requests a review, the Secretary shall review such owner's or operator's compliance with those requirements with which the owner or operator failed to comply and resulted in the Secretary determining that the owner or operator was not fit.

(3) Owners or operators transporting hazardous material.—Not later than 30 days after an unfit owner or operator of commercial motor vehicles designed or used to transport hazardous material for which placarding of a motor vehicle is required under regulations prescribed under chapter 51, the Secretary shall review such owner's or operator's compliance with those requirements with which the owner or operator failed to comply and resulted in the Secretary determining that the owner or operator was not fit.


(f) Prohibited Government Use.—A department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States Government may not use to provide any transportation service an owner or operator who the Secretary has determined is not fit until the Secretary determines such owner or operator is fit.

(g) Safety Reviews of New Operators.—

(1) Safety review.—

(A) In general.—Except as provided under subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall require, by regulation, each owner and each operator granted new registration under section 13902 or 31134 to undergo a safety review not later than 12 months after the owner or operator, as the case may be, begins operations under such registration.

(B) Providers of motorcoach services.—The Secretary shall require, by regulation, each owner and each operator granted new registration to transport passengers under section 13902 or 31134 to undergo a safety review not later than 120 days after the owner or operator, as the case may be, begins operations under such registration.


(2) Elements.—In the regulations issued pursuant to paragraph (1), the Secretary shall establish the elements of the safety review, including basic safety management controls. In establishing such elements, the Secretary shall consider their effects on small businesses and shall consider establishing alternate locations where such reviews may be conducted for the convenience of small businesses.

(3) Phase-in of requirement.—The Secretary shall phase in the requirements of paragraph (1) in a manner that takes into account the availability of certified motor carrier safety auditors.

(4) New entrant authority.—Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, any new operating authority granted after the date on which section 31148(b) is first implemented shall be designated as new entrant authority until the safety review required by paragraph (1) is completed.

[(5) Repealed. Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §5101(e)(1), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1525.]

(6) Additional requirements for household goods motor carriers.—

(A) In general.—In addition to the requirements of this subsection, the Secretary shall require, by regulation, each registered household goods motor carrier to undergo a consumer protection standards review not later than 18 months after the household goods motor carrier begins operations under such authority.

(B) Elements.—In the regulations issued pursuant to subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall establish the elements of the consumer protections standards review, including basic management controls. In establishing the elements, the Secretary shall consider the effects on small businesses and shall consider establishing alternate locations where such reviews may be conducted for the convenience of small businesses.


(h) Recognition of Canadian Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Determinations.—

(1) If an authorized agency of the Canadian federal government or a Canadian Territorial or Provincial government determines, by applying the procedure and standards prescribed by the Secretary under subsection (b) or pursuant to an agreement under paragraph (2), that a Canadian employer is unfit and prohibits the employer from operating a commercial motor vehicle in Canada or any Canadian Province, the Secretary may prohibit the employer from operating such vehicle in interstate and foreign commerce until the authorized Canadian agency determines that the employer is fit.

(2) The Secretary may consult and participate in negotiations with authorized officials of the Canadian federal government or a Canadian Territorial or Provincial government, as necessary, to provide reciprocal recognition of each country's motor carrier safety fitness determinations. An agreement shall provide, to the maximum extent practicable, that each country will follow the procedure and standards prescribed by the Secretary under subsection (b) in making motor carrier safety fitness determinations.


(i) Periodic Safety Reviews of Owners and Operators of Interstate For-hire Commercial Motor Vehicles Designed or Used to Transport Passengers.—

(1) Safety review.—

(A) In general.—The Secretary shall—

(i) determine the safety fitness of each motor carrier of passengers who the Secretary registers under section 13902 or 31134 through a simple and understandable rating system that allows passengers to compare the safety performance of each such motor carrier; and

(ii) assign a safety fitness rating to each such motor carrier.


(B) Applicability.—Subparagraph (A) shall apply—

(i) to any provider of motorcoach services registered with the Administration after the date of enactment of the Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act of 2012 beginning not later than 2 years after the date of such registration; and

(ii) to any provider of motorcoach services registered with the Administration on or before the date of enactment of that Act beginning not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of that Act.


(2) Periodic review.—The Secretary shall establish, by regulation, a process for monitoring the safety performance of each motor carrier of passengers on a regular basis following the assignment of a safety fitness rating, including progressive intervention to correct unsafe practices.

(3) Enforcement strike forces.—In addition to the enhanced monitoring and enforcement actions required under paragraph (2), the Secretary may organize special enforcement strike forces targeting motor carriers of passengers.

(4) Periodic update of safety fitness rating.—In conducting the safety reviews required under this subsection, the Secretary shall—

(A) reassess the safety fitness rating of each motor carrier of passengers not less frequently than once every 3 years; and

(B) annually assess the safety fitness of certain motor carriers of passengers that serve primarily urban areas with high passenger loads.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1012; Pub. L. 104–88, title I, §104(g), Dec. 29, 1995, 109 Stat. 920; Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, §4009(a), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 405; Pub. L. 106–159, title II, §210(a), Dec. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1764; Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §§4107(b), 4114, title VII, §7112(b), (c), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1720, 1725, 1899; Pub. L. 110–244, title III, §301(b), (c), June 6, 2008, 122 Stat. 1616; Pub. L. 111–147, title IV, §422(e), Mar. 18, 2010, 124 Stat. 87; Pub. L. 111–322, title II, §2202(e), Dec. 22, 2010, 124 Stat. 3525; Pub. L. 112–5, title II, §202(e), Mar. 4, 2011, 125 Stat. 17; Pub. L. 112–30, title I, §122(e), Sept. 16, 2011, 125 Stat. 349; Pub. L. 112–102, title II, §202(e), Mar. 30, 2012, 126 Stat. 274; Pub. L. 112–140, title II, §202(e), June 29, 2012, 126 Stat. 395; Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, §§32102(a), 32202, 32603(e), 32707(a), 32921(b), div. G, title II, §112002(d), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 778, 784, 808, 813, 828, 983; Pub. L. 113–159, title I, §1102(e), Aug. 8, 2014, 128 Stat. 1844; Pub. L. 114–21, title I, §1102(e), May 29, 2015, 129 Stat. 222; Pub. L. 114–41, title I, §1102(e), July 31, 2015, 129 Stat. 449; Pub. L. 114–73, title I, §1102(e), Oct. 29, 2015, 129 Stat. 572; Pub. L. 114–87, title I, §1102(e), Nov. 20, 2015, 129 Stat. 681; Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §§5101(e)(1), 5105(d), 5508(b)(4), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1525, 1529, 1554.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
31144(a)(1) 49 App.:2512(a), (b). Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, §215, 98 Stat. 2844.
31144(a)(2) 49 App.:2512(c).
31144(b) 49 App.:2512(d).

In subsection (a), the word "regulation" is substituted for "rule" for consistency in the revised title and because the terms are synonymous.

In subsection (a)(1), the words "after notice and opportunity for comment" are omitted as unnecessary because of 5:553. The text of 49 App.:2512(b) is omitted as executed.

References in Text

The date of enactment of the Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act of 2012, referred to in subsec. (i)(1)(B), is the date of enactment of subtitle G of title II of div. C of Pub. L. 112–141, which was approved July 6, 2012.

Amendments

2015—Subsec. (g)(5). Pub. L. 114–94, §5101(e)(1), struck out par. (5) which provided for grants to States for new entrant audits.

Subsec. (g)(5)(B). Pub. L. 114–94, §5105(d), amended subpar. (B) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Secretary shall set aside from amounts made available by section 31104(a) up to $32,000,000 per fiscal year and up to $5,683,060 for the period beginning on October 1, 2015, and ending on December 4, 2015, for audits of new entrant motor carriers conducted pursuant to this paragraph."

Pub. L. 114–87 substituted "and up to $5,683,060 for the period beginning on October 1, 2015, and ending on December 4, 2015," for "and up to $4,459,016 for the period beginning on October 1, 2015, and ending on November 20, 2015,".

Pub. L. 114–73 substituted "and up to $4,459,016 for the period beginning on October 1, 2015, and ending on November 20, 2015," for "and up to $2,535,519 for the period beginning on October 1, 2015, and ending on October 29, 2015,".

Pub. L. 114–41 substituted "per fiscal year and up to $2,535,519 for the period beginning on October 1, 2015, and ending on October 29, 2015," for "per fiscal year and up to $26,652,055 for the period beginning on October 1, 2014, and ending on July 31, 2015,".

Pub. L. 114–21 substituted "and up to $26,652,055 for the period beginning on October 1, 2014, and ending on July 31, 2015," for "and up to $21,304,110 for the period beginning on October 1, 2014, and ending on May 31, 2015,".

Subsec. (g)(6). Pub. L. 114–94, §5508(b)(4), amended Pub. L. 112–141, §32921(b). See 2012 Amendment note below.

2014—Subsec. (g)(5)(B). Pub. L. 113–159 inserted "and up to $21,304,110 for the period beginning on October 1, 2014, and ending on May 31, 2015," after "per fiscal year".

2012—Subsec. (g)(1). Pub. L. 112–141, §32102(a), amended par. (1) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Secretary shall require, by regulation, each owner and each operator granted new operating authority, after the date on which section 31148(b) is first implemented, to undergo a safety review within the first 18 months after the owner or operator, as the case may be, begins operations under such authority."

Subsec. (g)(5)(B). Pub. L. 112–141, §112002(d), struck out "and up to $21,750,000 for the period beginning on October 1, 2011, and ending on June 30, 2012," after "year".

Pub. L. 112–141, §32603(e), amended subpar. (B) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Secretary shall set aside from amounts made available by section 31104(a) up to $29,000,000 per fiscal year for audits of new entrant motor carriers conducted pursuant to this paragraph."

Pub. L. 112–140, §§1(c), 202(e), temporarily substituted "and up to $22,040,000 for the period beginning on October 1, 2011, and ending on July 6, 2012," for "and up to $21,750,000 for the period beginning on October 1, 2011, and ending on June 30, 2012,". See Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment note below.

Pub. L. 112–102 substituted "and up to $21,750,000 for the period beginning on October 1, 2011, and ending on June 30, 2012," for "and up to $14,500,000 for the period beginning on October 1, 2011, and ending on March 31, 2012,".

Subsec. (g)(6). Pub. L. 112–141, §32921(b), as amended by Pub. L. 114–94, §5508(b)(4), added par. (6).

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 112–141, §32202, added subsec. (h).

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 112–141, §32707(a), added subsec. (i).

2011—Subsec. (g)(5)(B). Pub. L. 112–30 substituted "fiscal year and up to $14,500,000 for the period beginning on October 1, 2011, and ending on March 31, 2012," for "fiscal year".

Pub. L. 112–5 struck out "(and up to $12,315,000 for the period beginning October 1, 2010, and ending on March 4, 2011)" after "year".

2010—Subsec. (g)(5)(B). Pub. L. 111–322 substituted "(and up to $12,315,000 for the period beginning October 1, 2010, and ending on March 4, 2011)" for "(and up to $7,310,000 for the period beginning on October 1, 2010, and ending on December 31, 2010)".

Pub. L. 111–147 inserted "(and up to $7,310,000 for the period beginning on October 1, 2010, and ending on December 31, 2010)" after "fiscal year".

2008Pub. L. 110–244 amended Pub. L. 109–59, §§4107(b), 4114(c)(1), 7112. See 2005 Amendment notes below.

2005—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109–59, §4114(a), reenacted heading without change and amended text of subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Secretary shall—

"(1) determine whether an owner or operator is fit to operate safely commercial motor vehicles;

"(2) periodically update such safety fitness determinations;

"(3) make such final safety fitness determinations readily available to the public; and

"(4) prescribe by regulation penalties for violations of this section consistent with section 521."

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 109–59, §7112(c), which directed amendment of this section by redesignating the second subsec. (c), relating to safety reviews of new operators, as (f), was repealed by Pub. L. 110–244, §301(b)(2).

Pub. L. 109–59, §4107(b)(1), as amended by Pub. L. 110–244, §301(b)(1), redesignated subsec. (c), relating to safety reviews of new operators, as (f).

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 109–59, §7112(b)(1), substituted "section 521(b)(5)(A)" for "sections 521(b)(5)(A) and 5113".

Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 109–59, §7112(b)(2), inserted at end "A violation of this paragraph by an owner or operator transporting hazardous material shall be considered a violation of chapter 51, and shall be subject to the penalties in sections 5123 and 5124."

Subsec. (c)(5). Pub. L. 109–59, §4114(b), added par. (5).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 109–59, §4114(c)(2), added subsec. (d). Former subsec. (d) redesignated (e).

Pub. L. 109–59, §4114(c)(1), as amended by Pub. L. 110–244, §301(c), redesignated subsec. (d) as (e).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 109–59, §4114(c)(1), as amended by Pub. L. 110–244, §301(c), redesignated subsec. (d) as (e). Former subsec. (e) redesignated (f).

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 109–59, §7112(c), which directed amendment of this section by redesignating the second subsec. (c), relating to safety reviews of new operators, as (f), was repealed by Pub. L. 110–244, §301(b)(2).

Pub. L. 109–59, §4114(c)(1), as amended by Pub. L. 110–244, §301(c), redesignated subsec. (e) as (f). Former subsec. (f) redesignated (g).

Pub. L. 109–59, §4107(b)(1), as amended by Pub. L. 110–244, §301(b)(1), redesignated subsec. (c), relating to safety reviews of new operators, as (f).

Subsec. (f)(5). Pub. L. 109–59, §4107(b)(2), as amended by Pub. L. 110–244, §301(b)(1), added par. (5).

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 109–59, §4114(c)(1), as amended by Pub. L. 110–244, §301(c), redesignated subsec. (f) as (g).

1999—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 106–159 added subsec. (c) relating to safety reviews of new operators.

1998Pub. L. 105–178 reenacted section catchline without change and amended text generally, substituting, in subsec. (a), general provisions for provisions relating to procedure and, in subsec. (b), provisions relating to procedure for provisions relating to findings and action on registrations, and adding subsecs. (c) to (e).

1995—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 104–88, §104(g)(1)–(3), in first sentence substituted "The Secretary" for "In cooperation with the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Secretary" and "section 13902" for "sections 10922 and 10923" and in subpar. (C) struck out "and the Commission" after "Secretary".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–88, §104(g)(4), added subsec. (b) and struck out former subsec. (b) which read as follows: "Findings and Action on Applications.—The Commission shall—

"(1) find an applicant for authority to operate as a motor carrier unfit if the applicant does not meet the safety fitness requirements established under subsection (a) of this section; and

"(2) deny the application."

Effective Date of 2015 Amendment

Amendment by section 5105(d) of Pub. L. 114–94 effective Oct. 1, 2015, see section 1003 of Pub. L. 114–94, set out as a note under section 5313 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Amendment by section 5101(e)(1) of Pub. L. 114–94 effective Oct. 1, 2016, see section 5101(f) of Pub. L. 114–94, set out as a note under section 31102 of this title.

Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §5508(b), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1554, provided that the amendment made by section 5508(b)(4) is effective as of July 6, 2012, and as if included in Pub. L. 112–141 as enacted.

Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment

Amendment by sections 32202, 32603(e), and 32707(a) effective Oct. 1, 2012, see section 3(a) of Pub. L. 112–141, set out as a note under section 101 of Title 23, Highways.

Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, §32102(b), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 778, provided that: "The amendments made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall take effect 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act [see section 3(a), (b) of Pub. L. 112–141, set out as notes under section 101 of Title 23, Highways]."

Amendment by section 32921(b) of Pub. L. 112–141 effective 2 years after the date of enactment of Pub. L. 112–141, see section 32921(c) of Pub. L. 112–141, set out as an Effective Date of 2012 Amendment note under section 13902 of this title.

Amendment by section 112002(d) of Pub. L. 112–141 effective July 1, 2012, see section 114001 of Pub. L. 112–141, set out as a note under section 5305 of this title.

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–140 to cease to be effective on July 6, 2012, with text as amended by Pub. L. 112–140 to revert back to read as it did on the day before June 29, 2012, and amendments by Pub. L. 112–141 to be executed as if Pub. L. 112–140 had not been enacted, see section 1(c) of Pub. L. 112–140, set out as a note under section 101 of Title 23, Highways.

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 110–244 effective as of the date of enactment of Pub. L. 109–59 (Aug. 10, 2005) and to be treated as included in Pub. L. 109–59 as of that date, and provisions of Pub. L. 109–59, as in effect on the day before June 6, 2008, that are amended by Pub. L. 110–244 to be treated as not enacted, see section 121(b) of Pub. L. 110–244, set out as a note under section 101 of Title 23, Highways.

Effective Date of 1995 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–88 effective Jan. 1, 1996, see section 2 of Pub. L. 104–88, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1301 of this title.

Deemed References to Chapters 509 and 511 of Title 51

General references to "this title" deemed to refer also to chapters 509 and 511 of Title 51, National and Commercial Space Programs, see section 4(d)(8) of Pub. L. 111–314, set out as a note under section 101 of this title.

High Risk Carrier Reviews

Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §5305(a), (b), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1544, provided that:

"(a) In General.—The Secretary [of Transportation] shall ensure that a review is completed on each motor carrier that demonstrates through performance data that it poses the highest safety risk. At a minimum, a review shall be conducted whenever a motor carrier is among the highest risk carriers for 4 consecutive months.

"(b) Report.—The Secretary shall post on a public Web site a report on the actions the Secretary has taken to comply with this section, including the number of high risk carriers identified and the high risk carriers reviewed."

Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §4138, Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1745, which required completion of high risk carrier compliance reviews, was repealed by Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §5305(c), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1544.

Minimum Requirements

Pub. L. 106–159, title II, §210(b), Dec. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1765, as amended by Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, §32101(c), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 777, provided that: "The Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking to establish minimum requirements for applicant motor carriers, including foreign motor carriers, seeking Federal interstate operating authority to ensure applicant carriers are knowledgeable about applicable Federal motor carrier safety standards. As part of that rulemaking, the Secretary shall establish a proficiency examination for applicant motor carriers as well as other requirements to ensure such applicants understand applicable safety regulations, commercial regulations, and provisions of subpart H of part 37 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, or successor regulations before being granted operating authority."

§31145. Coordination of Governmental activities and paperwork

The Secretary of Transportation shall coordinate the activities of departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States Government to ensure adequate protection of the safety and health of operators of commercial motor vehicles. The Secretary shall attempt to minimize paperwork burdens to ensure maximum coordination and to avoid overlap and the imposition of unreasonable burdens on persons subject to regulations under this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1012.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
31145 49 App.:2517(b). Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, §220(b), 98 Stat. 2846.

§31146. Relationship to other laws

Except as provided in section 31136(b) of this title, this subchapter and the regulations prescribed under this subchapter do not affect chapter 51 of this title or a regulation prescribed under chapter 51.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1013.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
31146 49 App.:2518. Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, §221, 98 Stat. 2846.

§31147. Limitations on authority

(a) Traffic Regulations.—This subchapter does not authorize the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe traffic safety regulations or preempt State traffic regulations. However, the Secretary may prescribe traffic regulations to the extent their subject matter was regulated under parts 390–399 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, on October 30, 1984.

(b) Regulating the Manufacturing of Vehicles.—This subchapter does not authorize the Secretary to regulate the manufacture of commercial motor vehicles for any purpose, including fuel economy, safety, or emission control.

(Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1013.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
31147(a) 49 App.:2519(a). Oct. 30, 1984, Pub. L. 98–554, §229, 98 Stat. 2853.
31147(b) 49 App.:2519(b).

In subsection (a), the word "prescribe" is substituted for "establish or maintain" for consistency in the revised title and with other titles of the United States Code.

§31148. Certified motor carrier safety auditors

(a) In General.—Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this section, the Secretary of Transportation shall complete a rulemaking to improve training and provide for the certification of motor carrier safety auditors, including private contractors, to conduct safety inspection audits and reviews described in subsection (b).

(b) Certified Inspection Audit Requirement.—Not later than 1 year after completion of the rulemaking required by subsection (a), any safety inspection audit or review required by, or based on the authority of, this chapter or chapter 5, 313, or 315 of this title and performed after December 31, 2002, shall be conducted by—

(1) a motor carrier safety auditor certified under subsection (a); or

(2) a Federal or State employee who, on the date of the enactment of this section, was qualified to perform such an audit or review.


(c) Extension.—If the Secretary determines that subsection (b) cannot be implemented within the 1-year period established by that subsection and notifies the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives of the determination and the reasons therefor, the Secretary may extend the deadline for compliance with subsection (b) by not more than 12 months.

(d) Application With Other Authority.—The Secretary may not delegate the Secretary's authority to private contractors to issue ratings or operating authority, and nothing in this section authorizes any private contractor to issue ratings or operating authority.

(e) Oversight Responsibility.—The Secretary shall have authority over any motor carrier safety auditor certified under subsection (a), including the authority to decertify a motor carrier safety auditor.

(Added Pub. L. 106–159, title II, §211(a), Dec. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1765.)

References in Text

The date of the enactment of this section, referred to in subsecs. (a) and (b)(2), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 106–159, which was approved Dec. 9, 1999.

Inspector Standards

Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §5205, Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1537, provided that: "Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 4, 2015], the Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shall revise the regulations under part 385 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, as necessary, to incorporate by reference the certification standards for roadside inspectors issued by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance."

§31149. Medical program

(a) Medical Review Board.—

(1) Establishment and function.—The Secretary of Transportation shall establish a Medical Review Board to provide the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration with medical advice and recommendations on medical standards and guidelines for the physical qualifications of operators of commercial motor vehicles, medical examiner education, and medical research.

(2) Composition.—The Medical Review Board shall be appointed by the Secretary and shall consist of 5 members selected from medical institutions and private practice. The membership shall reflect expertise in a variety of medical specialties relevant to the driver fitness requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.


(b) Chief Medical Examiner.—The Secretary shall appoint a chief medical examiner who shall be an employee of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and who shall hold a position under section 3104 of title 5, United States Code, relating to employment of specially qualified scientific and professional personnel, and shall be paid under section 5376 of title 5, United States Code, relating to pay for certain senior-level positions.

(c) Medical Standards and Requirements.—

(1) In general.—The Secretary, with the advice of the Medical Review Board and the chief medical examiner, shall—

(A) establish, review, and revise—

(i) medical standards for operators of commercial motor vehicles that will ensure that the physical condition of operators of commercial motor vehicles is adequate to enable them to operate the vehicles safely; and

(ii) requirements for periodic physical examinations of such operators performed by medical examiners who have, at a minimum, self-certified that they have completed training in physical and medical examination standards and are listed on a national registry maintained by the Department of Transportation;


(B) require each such operator to have a current valid medical certificate;

(C) conduct periodic reviews of a select number of medical examiners on the national registry to ensure that proper examinations of such operators are being conducted;

(D) not later than 1 year after enactment of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2012, develop requirements for a medical examiner to be listed in the national registry under this section, including—

(i) the completion of specific courses and materials;

(ii) certification, including, at a minimum, self-certification, if the Secretary determines that self-certification is necessary for sufficient participation in the national registry, to verify that a medical examiner completed specific training, including refresher courses, that the Secretary determines necessary to be listed in the national registry;

(iii) an examination that requires a passing grade; and

(iv) demonstration of a medical examiner's willingness to meet the reporting requirements established by the Secretary;


(E) require medical examiners to transmit electronically, on a monthly basis, the name of the applicant, a numerical identifier, and additional information contained on the medical examiner's certificate for any completed medical examination report required under section 391.43 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to the chief medical examiner;

(F) periodically review a representative sample of the medical examination reports associated with the name and numerical identifiers of applicants transmitted under subparagraph (E) for errors, omissions, or other indications of improper certification; and

(G) annually review the implementation of commercial driver's license requirements by not fewer than 10 States to assess the accuracy, validity, and timeliness of—

(i) the submission of physical examination reports and medical certificates to State licensing agencies; and

(ii) the processing of the submissions by State licensing agencies.


(2) Monitoring performance.—The Secretary shall investigate patterns of errors or improper certification by a medical examiner. If the Secretary finds that a medical examiner has issued a medical certificate to an operator of a commercial motor vehicle who fails to meet the applicable standards at the time of the examination or that a medical examiner has falsely claimed to have completed training in physical and medical examination standards as required by this section, the Secretary may remove such medical examiner from the registry and may void the medical certificate of the applicant or holder.


(d) National Registry of Medical Examiners.—The Secretary, acting through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration—

(1) shall establish and maintain a current national registry of medical examiners who are qualified to perform examinations and issue medical certificates;

(2) shall remove from the registry the name of any medical examiner that fails to meet or maintain the qualifications established by the Secretary for being listed in the registry or otherwise does not meet the requirements of this section or regulation issued under this section;

(3) shall accept as valid only medical certificates issued by persons on the national registry of medical examiners; and

(4) may make participation of medical examiners in the national registry voluntary if such a change will enhance the safety of operators of commercial motor vehicles.


(e) Regulations.—The Secretary shall issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry out this section.

(Added Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §4116(a), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1726; amended Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, §32302(b), (c)(1), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 789.)

References in Text

The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2012, referred to in subsec. (c)(1)(D), is Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 776. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 2012 Amendment note set out under section 30101 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

2012—Subsec. (c)(1)(D). Pub. L. 112–141, §32302(b), amended subpar. (D) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (D) read as follows: "develop, as appropriate, specific courses and materials for medical examiners listed in the national registry established under this section, and require those medical examiners to, at a minimum, self-certify that they have completed specific training, including refresher courses, to be listed in the registry;".

Subsec. (c)(1)(E). Pub. L. 112–141, §32302(c)(1)(A), amended subpar. (E) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (E) read as follows: "require medical examiners to transmit the name of the applicant and numerical identifier, as determined by the Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, for any completed medical examination report required under section 391.43 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, electronically to the chief medical examiner on monthly basis; and".

Subsec. (c)(1)(G). Pub. L. 112–141, §32302(c)(1)(B), (C), added subpar. (G).

Effective Date of 2012 Amendment

Amendment by section 32302(b) of Pub. L. 112–141 effective Oct. 1, 2012, see section 3(a) of Pub. L. 112–141, set out as an Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment note under section 101 of Title 23, Highways.

Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, §32302(c)(2)(B), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 789, as amended by Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §5508(b)(3), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1554, provided that: "The amendments made by section 32302(c)(1) of this Act [amending this section] shall take effect on the date the oversight policies and procedures are established pursuant to subparagraph (A)."

[Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §5508(b), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1554, provided that the amendment made by section 5508(b)(3) to section 32302(c)(2)(B) of Pub. L. 112–141, set out above, is effective as of July 6, 2012, and as if included in Pub. L. 112–141 as enacted.]

Effective Date

Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §4116(f), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1728, as amended by Pub. L. 110–244, title III, §301(d), June 6, 2008, 122 Stat. 1616, provided that: "The amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) [enacting this section and amending section 31136 of this title] shall take effect on the 365th day following the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 10, 2005]."

[Amendment by Pub. L. 110–244 to section 4116(f) of Pub. L. 109–59, set out above, effective as of the date of enactment of Pub. L. 109–59 (Aug. 10, 2005) and to be treated as included in Pub. L. 109–59 as of that date, and provisions of Pub. L. 109–59, as in effect on the day before June 6, 2008, that are amended by Pub. L. 110–244 to be treated as not enacted, see section 121(b) of Pub. L. 110–244, set out as an Effective Date of 2008 note under section 101 of Title 23, Highways.]

Medical Certification of Veterans for Commercial Driver's Licenses

Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §5403, Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1548, as amended by Pub. L. 115–105, §2(a), (b), Jan. 8, 2018, 131 Stat. 2263, provided that:

"(a) In General.—In the case of a veteran operator approved by a qualified examiner, the qualified examiner of such operator may, subject to the requirements of subsection (b), perform a medical examination and provide a medical certificate for purposes of compliance with the requirements of section 31149 of title 49, United States Code.

"(b) Certification.—The certification described under subsection (a) shall include—

"(1) assurances that the examiner performing the medical examination meets the requirements of a qualified examiner under this section; and

"(2) certification that the physical condition of the operator is adequate to enable such operator to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely.

"(c) National Registry of Medical Examiners.—The Secretary [of Transportation], in consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, shall develop a process for qualified examiners to perform a medical examination and provide a medical certificate under subsection (a) and include such examiners on the national registry of medical examiners established under section 31149(d) of title 49, United States Code.

"(d) Definitions.—In this section, the following definitions apply:

"(1) Qualified examiner.—The term 'qualified examiner' means an individual who—

"(A) is employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs as an advanced practice nurse, doctor of chiropractic, doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, physician assistant, or other medical professional;

"(B) is licensed, certified, or registered in a State to perform physical examinations;

"(C) is familiar with the standards for, and physical requirements of, an operator required to be medically certified under section 31149 of title 49, United States Code; and

"(D) has never, with respect to such section, been found to have acted fraudulently, including by fraudulently awarding a medical certificate.

"(2) Veteran.—The term 'veteran' has the meaning given the term in section 101 of title 38, United States Code.

"(3) Veteran operator approved by a qualified examiner.—The term 'veteran operator approved by a qualified examiner' means an operator of a commercial motor vehicle who—

"(A) is a veteran who is enrolled in the health care system established under section 1705(a) of title 38, United States Code; and

"(B) is required to have a current valid medical certificate pursuant to section 31149 of title 49, United States Code.

"(e) Statutory Construction.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to change any statutory penalty associated with fraud or abuse."

[Pub. L. 115–105, §2(c), Jan. 8, 2018, 131 Stat. 2264, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending section 5403 of Pub. L. 114–94, set out above] shall be incorporated into any rulemaking proceeding related to section 5403 of the FAST Act (49 U.S.C. 31149 note; 129 Stat. 1548) that is being conducted as of the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 8, 2018]."]

Deadline for Establishment of National Registry of Medical Examiners

Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, §32302(a), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 788, provided that: "Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act [see section 3(a), (b) of Pub. L. 112–141, set out as Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment notes under section 101 of Title 23, Highways], the Secretary [of Transportation] shall establish a national registry of medical examiners in accordance with section 31149(d)(1) of title 49, United States Code."

Internal Oversight Policy

Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, §32302(c)(2)(A), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 789, provided that: "Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act [see section 3(a), (b) of Pub. L. 112–141, set out as Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment notes under section 101 of Title 23, Highways], the Secretary [of Transportation] shall establish an oversight policy and procedure to carry out section 31149(c)(1)(G) of title 49, United States Code, as added by section 32302(c)(1) of this Act."

§31150. Safety performance history screening

(a) In General.—The Secretary of Transportation shall provide persons conducting preemployment screening services for the motor carrier industry electronic access to the following reports contained in the Motor Carrier Management Information System:

(1) Commercial motor vehicle accident reports.

(2) Inspection reports that contain no driver-related safety violations.

(3) Serious driver-related safety violation inspection reports.


(b) Conditions on Providing Access.—Before providing a person access to the Motor Carrier Management Information System under subsection (a), the Secretary shall—

(1) ensure that any information that is released to such person will be in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.) and all other applicable Federal law;

(2) ensure that such person will not conduct a screening without the operator-applicant's written consent;

(3) ensure that any information that is released to such person will not be released to any person or entity, other than the motor carrier requesting the screening services or the operator-applicant, unless expressly authorized or required by law; and

(4) provide a procedure for the operator-applicant to correct inaccurate information in the System in a timely manner.


(c) Design.—The process for providing access to the Motor Carrier Management Information System under subsection (a) shall be designed to assist the motor carrier industry in assessing an individual operator's crash and serious safety violation inspection history as a preemployment condition. Use of the process shall not be mandatory and may only be used during the preemployment assessment of an operator-applicant.

(d) Serious Driver-Related Safety Violation Defined.—In this section, the term "serious driver-related violation" means a violation by an operator of a commercial motor vehicle that the Secretary determines will result in the operator being prohibited from continuing to operate a commercial motor vehicle until the violation is corrected.

(Added Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §4117(a), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1728.)

References in Text

The Fair Credit Reporting Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(1), is title VI of Pub. L. 90–321, as added by Pub. L. 91–508, title VI, §601, Oct. 26, 1970, 84 Stat. 1127, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter III (§1681 et seq.) of chapter 41 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1601 of Title 15 and Tables.

§31151. Roadability

(a) Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance of Intermodal Equipment.—

(1) In general.—The Secretary of Transportation shall maintain a program to ensure that intermodal equipment used to transport intermodal containers is safe and systematically maintained.

(2) Intermodal equipment safety regulations.—The Secretary shall issue the regulations under this section as a subpart of the Federal motor carrier safety regulations.

(3) Contents.—The regulations issued under this section shall include, at a minimum—

(A) a requirement to identify intermodal equipment providers responsible for the inspection and maintenance of intermodal equipment that is interchanged or intended for interchange to motor carriers in intermodal transportation;

(B) a requirement to match intermodal equipment readily to an intermodal equipment provider through a unique identifying number;

(C) a requirement that an intermodal equipment provider identified under subparagraph (A) systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, intermodal equipment described in subparagraph (A) that is intended for interchange with a motor carrier;

(D) a requirement to ensure that each intermodal equipment provider identified under subparagraph (A) maintains a system of maintenance and repair records for such equipment;

(E) requirements that—

(i) a specific list of intermodal equipment components or items be identified for the visual or audible inspection of which a driver is responsible before operating the equipment over the road; and

(ii) the inspection under clause (i) be conducted as part of the Federal requirement in effect on the date of enactment of this section that a driver be satisfied that the intermodal equipment components are in good working order before the equipment is operated over the road;


(F) a requirement that a facility at which an intermodal equipment provider regularly makes intermodal equipment available for interchange have an operational process and space readily available for a motor carrier to have an equipment defect identified pursuant to subparagraph (E) repaired or the equipment replaced prior to departure;

(G) a program for the evaluation and audit of compliance by intermodal equipment providers with applicable Federal motor carrier safety regulations;

(H) a civil penalty structure consistent with section 521(b) of title 49, United States Code, for intermodal equipment providers that fail to attain satisfactory compliance with applicable Federal motor carrier safety regulations; and

(I) a prohibition on intermodal equipment providers from placing intermodal equipment in service on the public highways to the extent such providers or their equipment are found to pose an imminent hazard;

(J) a process by which motor carriers and agents of motor carriers shall be able to request the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to undertake an investigation of an intermodal equipment provider identified under subparagraph (A) that is alleged to be not in compliance with the regulations under this section;

(K) a process by which equipment providers and agents of equipment providers shall be able to request the Administration to undertake an investigation of a motor carrier that is alleged to be not in compliance with the regulations issued under this section;

(L) a process by which a driver or motor carrier transporting intermodal equipment is required to report to the intermodal equipment provider or the provider's designated agent any actual damage or defect in the intermodal equipment of which the driver or motor carrier is aware at the time the intermodal equipment is returned to the intermodal equipment provider or the provider's designated agent;

(M) a requirement that any actual damage or defect identified in the process established under subparagraph (L) be repaired before the equipment is made available for interchange to a motor carrier and that repairs of equipment made pursuant to the requirements of this subparagraph and reports made pursuant to the subparagraph (L) process be documented in the maintenance records for such equipment; and

(N) a procedure under which motor carriers, drivers and intermodal equipment providers may seek correction of their motor carrier safety records through the deletion from those records of violations of safety regulations attributable to deficiencies in the intermodal chassis or trailer for which they should not have been held responsible.


(b) Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance of Intermodal Equipment.—The Secretary or an employee of the Department of Transportation designated by the Secretary may inspect intermodal equipment, and copy related maintenance and repair records for such equipment, on demand and display of proper credentials.

(c) Out-of-Service Until Repair.—Any intermodal equipment that is determined under this section to fail to comply with applicable Federal safety regulations may be placed out of service by the Secretary or a Federal, State, or government official designated by the Secretary and may not be used on a public highway until the repairs necessary to bring such equipment into compliance have been completed. Repairs of equipment taken out of service shall be documented in the maintenance records for such equipment.

(d) Preemption Generally.—Except as provided in subsection (e), a law, regulation, order, or other requirement of a State, a political subdivision of a State, or a tribal organization relating to commercial motor vehicle safety is preempted if such law, regulation, order, or other requirement exceeds or is inconsistent with a requirement imposed under or pursuant to this section.

(e) Pre-Existing State Requirements.—

(1) In general.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), a State requirement for the periodic inspection of intermodal chassis by intermodal equipment providers that was in effect on January 1, 2005, shall remain in effect only until the date on which requirements prescribed under this section take effect.

(2) Nonpreemption determinations.—

(A) In general.—Notwithstanding subsection (d), a State requirement described in paragraph (1) is not preempted by a Federal requirement prescribed under this section if the Secretary determines that the State requirement is as effective as the Federal requirement and does not unduly burden interstate commerce.

(B) Application required.—Subparagraph (A) applies to a State requirement only if the State applies to the Secretary for a determination under this paragraph with respect to the requirement before the date on which the regulations issued under this section take effect. The Secretary shall make a determination with respect to any such application within 6 months after the date on which the Secretary receives the application.

(C) Amended state requirements.—Any amendment to a State requirement not preempted under this subsection because of a determination by the Secretary under subparagraph (A) may not take effect unless—

(i) it is submitted to the Secretary before the effective date of the amendment; and

(ii) the Secretary determines that the amendment would not cause the State requirement to be less effective than the Federal requirement and would not unduly burden interstate commerce.


(f) Definitions.—In this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) Intermodal equipment.—The term "intermodal equipment" means trailing equipment that is used in the intermodal transportation of containers over public highways in interstate commerce, including trailers and chassis.

(2) Intermodal equipment interchange agreement.—The term "intermodal equipment interchange agreement" means the Uniform Intermodal Interchange and Facilities Access Agreement or any other written document executed by an intermodal equipment provider or its agent and a motor carrier or its agent, the primary purpose of which is to establish the responsibilities and liabilities of both parties with respect to the interchange of the intermodal equipment.

(3) Intermodal equipment provider.—The term "intermodal equipment provider" means any person that interchanges intermodal equipment with a motor carrier pursuant to a written interchange agreement or has a contractual responsibility for the maintenance of the intermodal equipment.

(4) Interchange.—The term "interchange"—

(A) means the act of providing intermodal equipment to a motor carrier pursuant to an intermodal equipment interchange agreement for the purpose of transporting the equipment for loading or unloading by any person or repositioning the equipment for the benefit of the equipment provider; but

(B) does not include the leasing of equipment to a motor carrier for primary use in the motor carrier's freight hauling operations.

(Added Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §4118(a), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1729; amended Pub. L. 110–244, title III, §301(e), June 6, 2008, 122 Stat. 1616; Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, §32931(b), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 829.)

References in Text

The date of enactment of this section, referred to in subsec. (a)(3)(E)(ii), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 109–59, which was approved Aug. 10, 2005.

Amendments

2012—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 112–141, §32931(b)(1), amended par. (1) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary of Transportation, after providing notice and opportunity for comment, shall issue regulations establishing a program to ensure that intermodal equipment used to transport intermodal containers is safe and systematically maintained."

Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 112–141, §32931(b)(2), struck out par. (4). Text read as follows: "Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding for issuance of the regulations under this section."

2008—Subsec. (a)(3)(E)(ii). Pub. L. 110–244 substituted "section" for "Act".

Effective Date of 2012 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–141 effective Oct. 1, 2012, see section 3(a) of Pub. L. 112–141, set out as an Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment note under section 101 of Title 23, Highways.