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Purpose and General Applicability (49 C.F.R. § 390.1 – 390.3)

Legal Commentary: These regulatory sections establish the scope and applicability of all the trucking safety regulations that follow. These regulations are quite broad and govern employers, employees and commercial motor vehicles that drive across state lines and within state lines, depending on various circumstances.

The regulations require compliance with all safety and operations provisions. There are many exceptions listed as well, such as school buses and emergency vehicles, but every situation involving a commercial vehicle must be reviewed carefully to determine whether or not the regulations apply or whether state law governs or is applicable in any specific matter.

In an accident or injury matter that involves a truck that might be governed by these regulations, it is very important to consult with a trucking accident and regulatory lawyer capable of dealing with the complexities involved. As an experienced Georgia tractor-trailer accident lawyer, Charles Scholle has represented the catastrophically injured and their families for nearly two decades. We offer free confidential consultations on all matters, including trucking accident and injury cases. To talk with us, please send the firm a message online or call toll-free at 866-972-5287 or in Atlanta at 770-717-5100.

§ 390.1 Purpose

This part establishes general applicability, definitions, general requirements and information as they pertain to persons subject to this chapter.

§ 390.3 General Applicability

(a) The rules in subchapter B of this chapter are applicable to all employers, employees, and commercial motor vehicles, which transport property or passengers in interstate commerce.

(b) The rules in part 383, Commercial Driver's License Standards; Requirements and Penalties, are applicable to every person who operates a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in §383.5 of this subchapter, in interstate or intrastate commerce and to all employers of such persons.

(c) The rules in part 387, Minimum Levels of Financial Responsibility for Motor Carriers, are applicable to motor carriers as provided in § 387.3 or § 387.27 of this subchapter.

(d) Additional requirements. Nothing in subchapter B of this chapter shall be construed to prohibit an employer from requiring and enforcing more stringent requirements relating to safety of operation and employee safety and health.

(e) Knowledge of and compliance with the regulations.

  1. Every employer shall be knowledgeable of and comply with all regulations contained in this subchapter which are applicable to that motor carrier's operations.
  2. Every driver and employee shall be instructed regarding, and shall comply with, all applicable regulations contained in this subchapter.
  3. All motor vehicle equipment and accessories required by this subchapter shall be maintained in compliance with all applicable performance and design criteria set forth in this subchapter.

(f) Exceptions. Unless otherwise specifically provided, the rules in this subchapter do not apply to—

  1. All school bus operations as defined in §390.5 except for the provisions of §§391.15(e) and 392.80;
  2. Transportation performed by the Federal government, a State, or any political subdivision of a State, or an agency established under a compact between States that has been approved by the Congress of the United States;
  3. The occasional transportation of personal property by individuals not for compensation nor in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise;
  4. The transportation of human corpses or sick and injured persons;
  5. The operation of fire trucks and rescue vehicles while involved in emergency and related operations;
  6. The operation of commercial motor vehicles designed or used to transport between 9 and 15 passengers (including the driver), not for direct compensation, provided the vehicle does not otherwise meet the definition of a commercial motor vehicle except for the texting provisions of §§391.15(e) and 392.80, and except that motor carriers operating such vehicles are required to comply with §§390.15, 390.19, and 390.21(a) and (b)(2).
  7. Either a driver of a commercial motor vehicle 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 as defined in § 390.5.

(g) Motor carriers that transport hazardous materials in intrastate commerce. The rules in the following provisions of subchapter B of this chapter apply to motor carriers that transport hazardous materials in intrastate commerce and to the motor vehicles that transport hazardous materials in intrastate commerce:

  1. Part 385, subparts A and E, for carriers subject to the requirements of §385.403 of this chapter.
  2. Part 386, Rules of practice for motor carrier, broker, freight forwarder, and hazardous materials proceedings, of this chapter.
  3. Part 387, Minimum Levels of Financial Responsibility for Motor Carriers, to the extent provided in § 387.3 of this chapter.
  4. Section 390.19, Motor carrier identification report, and §390.21, Marking of CMVs, for carriers subject to the requirements of § 385.403 of this chapter. Intrastate motor carriers operating prior to January 1, 2005, are excepted from §390.19(a)(1).

(h) Intermodal equipment providers. On and after December 17, 2009, the rules in the following provisions of subchapter B of this chapter apply to intermodal equipment providers:

  1. Subpart F, Intermodal Equipment Providers, of Part 385, Safety Fitness Procedures.
  2. Part 386, Rules of Practice for Motor Carrier, Intermodal Equipment Provider, Broker, Freight Forwarder, and Hazardous Materials Proceedings.
  3. Part 390, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations; General, except § 390.15(b) concerning accident registers.
  4. Part 393, Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation.
  5. Part 396, Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance.
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