What are the regulations on the road?

Across the US and around the globe, established road infrastructures serve as the arteries that supply the products and goods needed to maintain a functioning and healthy society

Every day, thousands of tons of road freight arrive in countries through their ports, along their railways, and on their roads. This is an international operation spanning entire continents and involving vehicles and drivers of all nationalities. Last year alone, more than 10.8 billion tons of freight were transported across the US.

In an effort to maintain the safety of these vehicles and the drivers that operate them, there are a number of regulating bodies and charities set up to monitor standards. It is important that both the driving crews and their fleet managers understand the rules of operation that apply in their regions.

The US claims a traffic fatality rate of 12.4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, with 4.4 million injured per year. This is usually caused by poor road infrastructure, non-road worthy vehicles, unsafe road procedure and unenforced or non-existent traffic laws.

US domestic rules

The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 established minimum requirements that must be met when a state issues a Commercial Driver’s License. It specifies the following types of license:

Class A – Any combination of vehicles with a GVWR/GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating/Gross Vehicle Weight) of 26,001 or more pounds provided the GVWR/GVW of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.

Class B – Any single vehicle with a GVWR/GVW of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle, not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR/GVW.

Class C – Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver or is required to be placarded for hazardous materials.

Prior to the introduction of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Act, 1986, State Law varied in who could obtain a commercial driver’s license. The newly passed act ensured each new driver was equipped with safety knowledge and the skills to drive a commercial vehicle.

Hours of Service Regulations were also introduced to ensure drivers were not fatigued behind the wheel and a minimum driving limit was put in place: 11-Hour Driving Limit – May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.

Technology and the Law

 With an estimated 79 fatalities and 148 injuries per year attributed to straight trucks backing up and the unfortunate news story of Cameron Gulbransen, Law passed in 2007 requiring all new vehicles under 10,000 lbs to install a reversing camera. With these rules in place, it is expected that a reversing camera will be required for vehicles over 10,000 lbs, given the significant size of the blind spot at the rear of all commercial vehicles.

Looking to Europe, vehicles planning to travel to or through London from October 2020 now need to meet the demands of the new Direct Vision Standard (DVS). This is the first legislation of its kind in the UK and will relate to all vehicles, foreign and domestic, that weigh more than 13 tons. Could this be something the US adopt to decrease road accidents?

Here at Brigade, regardless of which country you operate in, our technology is integral to keeping all road users safe. Please get in touch to find out more about how our product range can help you to prevent collisions and save lives.