When transporting cargo or passengers across state lines using the United States Highway System, there are several regulations in place that require strict compliance. Since failure to obey these regulations can result in fines, a suspended license, or even jail time, it is important to make sure you are aware of them. This compliance checklist can help you keep your transportation legal and ensure you pass your DOT audits, as well as stay safe.
Department of Transportation numbers are required for those with vehicles weighing over 10,000 lbs and transport more than 8 passengers for pay or 15 passengers without pay. Because these numbers include the driver, it is important to pay attention to the number of people in the vehicle.
- Vehicle is registered and has a DOT number
- Number is attached to the vehicle
- Number is easy to see
Drug and alcohol compliance
Drug and alcohol tests are essential for ensuring safety on the U.S. highway. The DOT requires tests prior to employment, as well as after crashes involving fatalities or injuries. In addition, supervisors are required to undergo 120 hours of training to ensure they are aware of the signs of abuse. There are also regulations regarding record keeping and random tests, so make sure you are in compliance with this checklist.
- Background check new drivers for previous drug issues
- Perform pre-employment drug and alcohol testing
- Maintain records of results in secure, accessible location
- Make sure all drivers have copies of the DOT drug and alcohol policies
- Ensure random testing of drivers throughout the year
- Immediately remove drivers that do not pass the test
- Place any drivers with failed tests through substance abuse training
- Put supervisors through mandatory 120 hours of training
If you have a Commercial Drivers License, you need to comply with several laws that cover record keeping, as well as maintenance of the vehicle. Here is a checklist of regulations to follow if these apply to you.
- New drivers must meet the commercial motor vehicle entry-level training requirements
- Keep records of all qualifications and safety histories of yourself and all of your drivers in a safe and accessible place
- Document your hours of service, as well as any drivers you manage. If your drivers go more than 100 miles, they must document those hours as well
- Create and follow a vehicle maintenance program. Make sure you document all maintenance performed
- Complete inspections of the vehicles before and after the trip. Document everything in writing
- Stay familiar with parts 40, 380, 382, 383, 387, 390-397, and 399 of the federal regulations
- Keep a copy of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration rules at the main office, as well as give all of your drivers a copy. Make sure they sign an agreement of receipt and to comply with the rules
- Keep detailed records of any accidents involving your vehicle in a secure and accessible register
You must carry minimum amounts of insurance, depending on what type of the type of freight or number of passengers you drive. Before you start driving, make sure you do the following:
- File all necessary forms with agent
- Document all forms filed
- Receive documentation of insurance
- Make sure the insurance meets required minimums
- Keep insurance valid at all times
While there are many rules and regulations to follow when driving a commercial vehicle, they help keep our roads safe. Compliance keeps your company safe in case of an accident and can prevent lawsuits, fines, or prison time.