In an effort to help prevent fatalities and injuries caused by commercial vehicles, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) established a division of its organization to be fully dedicated to this effort. Since the beginning of 2000, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), formerly a part of the Federal Highway Administration, has functioned as the primary source for the establishment and enforcement of commercial driver regulations through the DOT.
While each state is responsible for establishing its own variation of the regulations, some of the FMCSA regulations are enforced on a federal level. it's important, as a commercial driver, that you know and understand the federal regulations as well as those in your state and any states into which you travel.
To help achieve their mission of greater safety for all citizens, the FMCSA and DOT focus on several key areas, including: targeting high-risk carriers and commercial drivers, improving the safety information systems and technologies of commercial vehicles, strengthening commercial motor vehicle equipment and operating standards, and increasing overall safety awareness. The guidelines are called the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
As technology evolves and new factors arise, the CFR is updated periodically – so it's important to make sure you have the most current information. To find the most recent version of federal regulations, review the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations here. The FMCSA also offers interpretations of many parts of the regulations under the – regulations – section of its website.
To find out more about the regulations in each state, visit DOT's Federal Highway Administration division here.
Even the best, most informed drivers encounter difficulties and need legal help. If you have received a violation on either the state or federal level, your career could be greatly affected by what you do next. Talk to the professionals at Interstate Trucker before making any decisions.