One of the ways to prove negligence is to establish that the driver or a different entity breach California’s trucking segment regulations in many different areas, like substance testing, securing cargo or weight limits.
Testing for Drug and Alcohol
California’s law makes interstate motor carriers necessary to follow federal regulations, concerning drug and alcohol consumption and testing. Under Section 382.205 of the Code of Federal Regulations, truck drivers are banned from consuming alcohol when carrying out safety-sensitive roles. Employers having knowledge of their driver using it while doing these roles cannot allow him or her to keep performing them.
Under Section 382.205, trucking companies have to make drivers go through a drug and alcohol test before hiring them. However, there are many different exceptions to the rule. For instance, if the driver took part in a CSAT (Controlled Substances and Alcohol Testing) program which meets the regulative federal requirements in the last 30 days, then he or she may not be needed to take that test. They too may not need to be tested in the event they were already tested for controlled substances in the last six months. Further, every driver has to submit themselves to alcohol and controlled substance testing on a random basis.
In case of an accident, the driver has to be tested for substance use as soon as it is practical to do. In the case an alcohol test was not done within 120 minutes of the accident, the employer has to prepare a document explaining the reason why it was not performed.
Weight Limit Regulations
When it comes to weight limits, the company can only put so much product and equipment upon a commercial trucking vehicle without breaching the federal and state law. As a rule, it is not permitted to put over 20,000 pounds upon any single axle. The overall weight on any single wheel or wheels that are supported on an axle cannot go beyond 10,500 pounds.
Besides, there are weight restrictions for a group of truck axles. When there is four feet amid the first axle and the last axle of a group, then its axle cannot carry in excess of 32,000 pounds. The permissible weight goes up as the distance amid the first axle and last axle of a group gets bigger. Some trucks are exempt from the weight limits applicable for the front axle, though.
Many rules are laid out concerning the appropriate securing of different kinds of cargo. For instance;
- Logs have to be transported upon vehicles built and designed for this function.
- When a truck is carrying metal coils, then each coil has to be secured by tie-downs, which are arranged in a way so as to prevent them from tipping backward, forward, or in a lateral direction.
- If cars are transported in trucks, then they have to be restrained in the latter’s front and rear parts to help avoid movement. These autos have to be secured with two tie-downs at the least.