As intrastate truck accident lawyers, we at Cross & Smith know that one of the first determinations to be made in the investigation of a Tuscaloosa truck accident or tractor trailer wreck is whether state or federal rules and regulations are applicable to the commercial motor carrier. We would like elaborate on Alabama rules and regulations concerning intrastate trucking.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations apply to interstate trucking operations. In some instances, a tractor trailer or large truck may travel and operate within a particular state so that its travel is intrastate only. Each state has certain rules and regulations that apply to trucking operations within its borders. Most states adopt, in part or in whole, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Interstate travel is governed by the federal regulations, without exceptions, regardless of the state in which the vehicle is traveling. Intrastate operations are subject to the federal rules regarding CDL regulations and any applicable regulations adopted by a state.
Intrastate commerce means any trade, traffic, or transportation beginning and ending within the boundaries of the State of Alabama. Interstate commerce means any trade, traffic, or transportation within the jurisdiction of the United States between a location in a particular state and a location outside of the state.
In Alabama, intrastate traffic is governed by The Alabama Public Safety Commission and the Alabama Department of Public Safety (Motor Carrier Safety Unit). They have adopted rules and regulations for motor carriers in Alabama that closely pattern the federal regulations. For instance, Alabama has adopted the federal regulation regarding accident reporting. A truck company must report any significant accident immediately to local law enforcement, within twenty four (24) hours to the Public Safety Commission if a death is involved or fifteen (15) days if no death is involved, and within thirty (30) days to the Alabama Director of Public Safety. The federal requirements for driver qualification have been adopted by Alabama. Alabama extended the time period for log book retention. Under federal law, the log books must be retained for six (6) months, but in Alabama they must be kept for at least twelve (12) months.
Alabama requires that all commercial motor vehicles traveling only within its borders display its legal company name, intrastate US DOT number followed by the designation “AL.” This information must be displayed on both sides of the truck. The legal company name means the business entity that owns or controls the trucking operation or the “doing business as” (dba) name as it appears on the registration forms. All motor vehicle carriers operating in Alabama must be registered.
The Alabama Rules and Regulations apply to all commercial motor vehicles traveling within the state. “Commercial Motor Vehicle” means any vehicle used on the highways in commerce to transport persons or property and meets one of the following criteria: It has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) or Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of more than 10,000 pounds, regardless of whether it travels in intrastate or interstate commerce; it is designed or used to transport more than eight (8) passengers (including the driver) for compensation; it is designed or used to transport more than fifteen (15) passengers, including the driver; or it is used to transport hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards under regulation of the United States Department of Transportation.
If you, or someone close to you, have been involved in a wreck with a truck or 18 wheeler, please contact the experienced Alabama truck and 18 wheeler accident lawyers at Cross & Smith. The Tuscaloosa truck accident lawyers at Cross & Smith have represented individuals and families in accident cases in Alabama for many years. You may contact our office online by using our online contact form or call us now at (877) 791-0618 for a free confidential consultation.