An existing rule entitled "Rules For Motor Carrier Safety Standards" is amended which consists of the regulations promulgated by the U. S. Department of Transportation contained in Parts 390 to 397 and 399 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations revised October 01, 1992, and any amendments thereto, with the following modifications:
(a) All of the regulations adopted shall be construed so that whenever the Department of Transportation, Secretary of Transportation, and other Federal agencies and titles are referred to, they shall be construed to mean and be in effect as State of Vermont, Agency of Transportation and the Secretary of Transportation serving as the administrative head thereof.
(b) Whenever the word Interstate appears in the text of Parts 390 to 397 and 399, it shall be construed to mean both Interstate and Intrastate Motor Carrier Transportation.
(c) In those instances where the context requires otherwise, appropriate interpretation shall be made; i. e. where there is no comparable State Agency, such as Coast Guard, then such shall be the Secretary of Transportation, or the Secretary's designee. Subsidiary offices of the Federal Department of Transportation shall be considered to be the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit of the Agency of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles.
(d) Part 391. 11, Qualifications of Drivers, is modified by deletion of (b)(1) and substituting the following:
(b) A person is qualified to drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle if the person:
1) Is at least 18 years old provided the person has a valid Vermont License and is engaged in the transportation of cargo or passengers in Intrastate Commerce; or
2) Must be at least 2 l years old if the person is engaged in the transportation of cargo or passengers in Interstate Commerce.
(e) Part 391. 41(b), Physical Qualifications for Drivers, (3) is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:
(3) Who is a newly diagnosed or has an established history of diabetes mellitus requiring insulin for control and has been certified by their personal physician that the individual has not had a hypoglycemic reaction (loss of consciousness or near loss of consciousness) for the last two years or since the last physical, whichever is longer. Such person shall be recertified every six months by their personal physician who must state that the patient has not had a hypoglycemic reaction during that time.
(f) Part 391. 41(b), Physical Qualifications for Drivers, (8) is deleted in its entirety, for intrastate operation only, and replaced with the following:
(8) Satisfies the Vermont Administrative Rule titled, "Physical Conditions as Pertains to Fainting Spells, Blackouts or Any Other Reason Causing a Period of Unconsciousness";
(g) Part 391. 41(b)(10), Physical Qualifications for Drivers, is modified as follows:
Has distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 (Snellen) binocular with or without corrective lenses, field of vision of at least 70 degrees in the horizontal meridian in each eye, except a monocular driver must have distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 with or without corrective lenses and field of vision of at least 70 degrees Temporal and at least 35 degrees Nasal in the horizontal meridian of the eye having visual acuity, and the ability to recognize the colors of traffic signals and devices showing standard red, green and amber. Certification of visual acuity and field of vision by a licensed Optometrist or Ophthalmologist must be submitted at each renewal of the commercial driver license. Operation of a commercial motor vehicle is permitted intrastate only. EXCEPTION, visual acuity corrected by use of bioptic or telescopic devices will not qualify an individual to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
(h) Parts 391. 81 through 391. 123 regarding Federal Controlled Substance Testing Regulations are deleted in their entirety for Intrastate Carriers (Interstate Carriers are already subject to the Federal Rule).
Intrastate Carriers who may wish to establish a controlled substance testing program for drivers are encouraged to do so provided they utilize current statutory guidelines as specified in Title 21, Vermont Statutes Annotated, Chapter 5, Subchapter 11, entitled "Drug Testing".
(i) Section 390. 5 entitled "Definitions," where it defines "Commercial Motor Vehicle," is amended to read:
Commercial Motor Vehicle means any self-propelled or towed vehicle used on public highways in commerce to transport passengers or property when:
1) The vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds and is operating in Interstate Commerce; or
2) The vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds and is operating in Intrastate Commerce; or
3) The vehicle is designed to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver; or
4) The vehicle is used in the transportation of hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placarding under regulations issued by the Secretary under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (49 U. S. C. App. 1801-1813).
A. Basic Enforcement Provisions
Any law enforcement officer of the State of Vermont and its municipalities, including but not limited to Motor Vehicle Inspectors, State Police Officers, Sheriffs, Chiefs of Police, and Municipal Police Officers, shall have the authority to enforce the rules and regulations pertaining to Motor Carrier Safety Standards adopted by the Secretary of the Agency of Transportation.
In order to enforce the rules and regulations as adopted, the Law Enforcement Officer must be certified by The Vermont Agency of Transportation, the State Lead Agency designated by the Governor. To become certified the Law Enforcement Officer must satisfactorily complete a Certification Course as prescribed by the U. S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, Safety Inspection Procedures, and Out-Of-Service criteria. In addition, the law enforcement officer will conduct 30 inspections which are supervised by a certified officer approved by the Vermont Agency of Transportation and demonstrate the ability to conduct inspections in accordance with the national standards prior to certification being granted. To maintain certification a law enforcement officer must perform at least 32 Level 1 inspections on an annual basis and attend an annual In-Service training covering the prescribed instruction.
Any law enforcement officer in the course of enforcing these rules and regulations is authorized to enter upon, to inspect, and to examine any and all vehicles and loads carried, lands, buildings, and equipment of any person subject to these rules and regulations, and to inspect and copy any and all accounts, books, records, memoranda, correspondence and other documents, including those maintained in an electronic format.
Every person subject to these regulations shall submit their accounts, books, records, memoranda, correspondence and other documents, including those maintained in an electronic format, for inspection and copying and they shall submit their vehicles, loads, land, buildings, and equipment for examination and inspection to any member of the Agency of Transportation upon demand after being furnished with appropriate identification by that person, and likewise to any law enforcement officer acting within the scope of his/her duties and authority with respect to these rules and regulations.
Each Motor Carrier who is required to return notices, reports, and information under the regulations shall do so within specified time limitations. All Reports shall be forwarded to the Agency of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit, 120 State Street, Montpelier, Vermont 05603-0001. Contact by telephone may be made to the Department at (802) 828-2078. (See 49 CFR Section 390. 9; Section 392. 40; and Part 394).
Penalties for violations of these rules shall be as provided in 5 V. S. A. § 2101 and as adopted in "Schedule of Penalties" as prescribed in 23 V. S. A. § 2302.
B. Non-compliance Enforcement Procedures for Motor Carriers
To insure Driver/Vehicle Examination Reports are returned in a timely manner (within 15 days from date of issue) and that all violations noted have been corrected by the Carrier.
A Driver/Vehicle Examination Report form approved by the Secretary of the Agency of Transportation for the Vermont Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program.
III. Compliance Notification:
Whenever an Inspection Report is not received by the Agency of Transportation, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit within 15 days from the date of inspection as required, a letter will be sent to the Motor Carrier/Operator along with a copy of the original inspection report. The letter will advise the Carrier/Operator that the report, with its signed certification of compliance, has not been received. It will give the Carrier/Operator an additional 15 days to return the report certifying compliance.
IV. Compliance Enforcement (Vermont Registered Vehicles):
If the Motor Carrier/Operator does not respond to the written notification as outlined above within 30 days from the date of the original inspection, the Agency's Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit will submit a request to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles asking that the Motor Carriers registration(s) be suspended indefinitely until compliance is manifested. The Secretary, or his/her authorized representative, may then demand the carrier or operator provide documentation of repair in such form as may be prescribed by the Department and an officer may also then re-inspect the vehicle(s) in question to determine if:
(1) Actual compliance has/has not been made; and
(2) Whether or not a Uniform Traffic Ticket and/or Vermont Traffic Complaint should be issued for non-compliance.
Compliance Enforcement (Foreign Registered Vehicles):
If the Motor Carrier/Operator does not respond to the written notification as outlined in paragraph III within 30 days from the date of the original inspection, the Agency's Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit will submit a request to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles asking that the Motor Carriers or Operators privilege to operate in Vermont be suspended indefinitely until compliance is manifested. The Secretary, or the Secretary's authorized representative, may then demand the carrier or operator provide documentation of repair in such form as may be prescribed by the Department and an officer may also then re-inspect the vehicle(s) in question to determine if:
(1) Actual compliance has/has not been made, and
(2) Whether or not a Uniform Traffic Ticket and/or Vermont Traffic complaint should be issued for non-compliance.
V. Reinspection Report (Vermont):
After completing the reinspection, the Inspector will submit a new Driver/Vehicle Examination Report noting whether or not the original violation(s) still exist. This follow-up report will be attached to the original in a closed file if the original violations have been corrected, and a written report will be forwarded to the Commissioner to reinstate the vehicle registration. Should the follow-up report reveal non-compliance, the original and follow-up reports will be placed in a pending file for further action.
VI. Suspension Authority:
The authority to make such suspension by the Commissioner is contained in Title 23 V. S. A. § 308(2), (3).
Source. September 15, 1993, S. O. S. Rule Log #93-66.
Amended. August 6, 1999, S. O. S. Rule Log #99-34.
Code of Vermont Rules, rule 14 050 036.