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Transporting Hazardous Cargo
There are many federal regulations placed on truck drivers and their vehicles in order to ensure their safety and the safety of others sharing the road. When a truck is transporting hazardous material, there are additional regulations that drivers must abide by. All motor carriers and drivers involved in the transportation of hazardous cargo must comply with both state and federal regulations and must obtain a hazardous materials transportation license.
If you were involved in a wreck with a truck transporting hazardous cargo, it is important that you seek legal counsel right away.
What is Considered Hazardous Cargo?
Hazardous cargo is any substance or material which has been determined by the Secretary of Transportation to be capable of posing an unreasonable risk to the health safety and property of others. Most people recognize gasoline, propane or dynamite as being hazardous, but common materials like pain, nail polish remover, adhesives, cleaning compounds, hair spray and matches can also be classified as hazardous materials
Violations of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) can result in fines of up to $27,500 and possible criminal penalties, including up to five years in jail, so it is important to know if you are transporting hazardous materials.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, hazardous materials fall into one of the following basic classes and divisions:
Non-Flammable Gas 2.2
Organic Peroxide 5.2
|Explosives 1.2||Poison Gas 2.3||Poison Liquid or Solid 6.1|
|Explosives 1.3||Flammable & Combustible Liquids 3||Infectious Substance 6.2|
|Explosives 1.4||Flammable Solids 4.1||Radioactive 7|
|Explosives 1.5||Spontaneously Combustible 4.2||Corrosive 8|
|Explosives 1.6||Dangerous When Wet 4.3||Miscellaneous 9|
|Flammable Gas 2.1||Oxidizer 5.1||Consumer Commodities, ORM-D|
Requirements for Transporting Hazardous Materials
A truck that transports a hazardous material, regardless of whether it is interstate or intrastate, must comply with the Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations.
These regulations include requirements for:
- Shipping papers
Additionally, there are additional requirements in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations including requirements for:
- Operational restrictions
- Commercial Drivers License endorsements
- Attendance requirements
Resources for Transporting Hazardous Cargo
The proper handling and transporting of hazardous materials can reduce the possibility of accidental spills. There are many ways to obtain additional information about safe transportation of hazardous materials. Some resources that we recommend are:
- Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrations (PHMSA’s) website: http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrations How to Comply with Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/hazmat/complyhmregs.htm
- The FMCSA’s Hazardous Materials Safety page: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hazardous-materials
Contact an Experienced Tulsa Truck Accident Attorney
At The Edwards Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping all those who have been involved in a truck accident, especially those involved in transporting hazardous cargo. We believe that if the actions or negligence of another person or entity has caused you harm, you deserve both compassion and compensation for your losses.
In an effort to ensure that all accident victims are able to afford access to top legal counsel, our law firm operates on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not owe us anything unless we obtain a favorable outcome for your claim, whether by a jury verdict or through a settlement with the other parties involved.
An important step to not be overlooked after being involved in a truck accident is seeking legal counsel. We offer free case evaluations to anyone who believes that they may have cause to file a lawsuit.
During an evaluation, one of our lawyers will assess the merits of your claim and offer advice on how to best pursue legal recourse for your losses.
For more information on the legal rights which may be available to Oklahoma truck accident victims and their families or to schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation with a member of our legal team, please complete the Free Case Review form on this page.