Move Over Laws

Move Over Laws in all 50 States

According to the USDOT blog, all 50 states have now enacted move over laws. There are some significant differences between states, but the basic premise requires changing lanes or slowing down when approaching vehicles stopped on the roadside.

ResponderSafety.com has reported that two emergency responders per day, on average, are struck by passing vehicles. Move over laws were enacted to provide a cushion of safety for law enforcement officers, workers, and others that may be stopped on a busy road or highway. The earliest versions of these laws were often vague and unenforceable. More recent efforts between cooperating agencies have provided model language that is clearer and is being adopted more broadly.

Roadside Accident w-Emergency Responders

Primary Differences

The move over laws across the 50 states have much more in common than not. The primary differences are the definitions each state has for an emergency scene. In many states they apply only to emergency vehicles. In other states they apply to emergency vehicles and towing vehicles. Alaska includes animal control vehicles in their definition and South Carolina has the broadest definition. Their text includes a location designated by the potential need to provide emergency medical care and is identified by emergency vehicles with flashing lights, rescue equipment, or emergency personnel on the scene.

Based on the South Carolina definition, one can infer that if a common citizen stops to assist another vehicle pulled off the road, there could be potential need for emergency medical care making even that a qualifying emergency scene that the law would apply to.

What Move Over Laws Have in Common

All of the move over laws place responsibility on the driver of a motor vehicle to take specific action when approaching an emergency scene. The driver must change lanes if the adjacent lane is available and the maneuver can be performed safely. Drivers must also slow down and control their vehicle to avoid collision. The image below from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website tells Florida drivers exactly what they need to know.

I recall, many years ago, being at the side of the road on Highway 17 in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I was driving a friend’s pickup truck when the engine seized because the oil was too low. Stuck on a curve with 2 lanes of traffic moving fast in both directions, and a concrete barrier between, I was alone and unprepared. There was very little room at the roadside and no way to move the truck further off the road. I waited in the truck hoping someone would stop to help. It was unnerving that drivers did not slow down, and absolutely frightening when one drove by so close he clipped off the side view mirror and sent it tumbling down the hill.

Common sense and human decency dictate if someone, if anyone is in distress at the side of the road, whether that distress is a heart attack or a flat tire, give them and anyone who is assisting them plenty of room. Move over laws ensure a higher level of protection for public servants and a consequence for violators. Bottom line, they encourage us all to do what we know is the right thing.

Driver Training

Play this short video to remind your drivers and employees of the Move Over Law.

Geotab Drive “Must Have” Add Ins & ELD Reports

Geotab Drive with ELD Reporting – Free Marketplace Tools

 

Geotab Drive makes ELD compliance easy, but many users miss the free add-ins and reports that truly simplify a fleet manager’s life. In this post, we present the options that we feel are “Must Have” applications for our clients. Everything shown can be downloaded or directly installed in your system from the Geotab Marketplace. Just click on “Marketplace” at the bottom of your main menu and open up a world of possibilities.

 

ELD Services – Settings Validator Add-In

There is a multitude of settings and entry fields presented to you when initially setting up your ELD drivers. When drivers begin to use the system, all of the static information that must be included in their RODS is pulled from these entries. Thus, if the driver’s license issuing state was not completed when the driver was created in the system, it will not show up on a compliance print when generated. Unfortunately, when this happens at a roadside inspection, you have likely ruined your driver’s day. Using this add-in assures that all required information is accessible to the Geotab Drive app, and compliance prints or RODS transferred to FMCSA will include all required information.

The ELD Settings Validator is a free add-in for Geotab. It identifies missing driver data and links you right to the form to correct the ommissions. Fields marked with an X are an indication that information is missing for that field. Select the information icon on the right-hand side for quick access to the driver’s User Settings. Simply fill in the missing information and select Save at the top of the screen. Drivers that are not missing information will not be displayed, only entries that need to be corrected.

ELD Settings Validator

ELD Add-In – Driver Access to
Support Help Desk

The ELD Information Add-In provides instant, driver-friendly access to the Reseller Support Help desk. View the latest ELD information documents that are required during a roadside inspection in accordance with ?395.22 (h), or stream the latest How-to videos for Geotab Drive. Please note that this add-in is currently only available for mobile devices running on Android.

With this add-in installed in your Geotab system, all drivers will see the add-in populated on their HOS Dashboard. The step by step instructions for using Geotab Drive are contained in the Data Transfer Guide, ELD Manual, and Data & Diagnostics ELD Malfunction Sheet Guide. All are launched right from the app in a single click. Most importantly, these are the documents required to be kept in the cab under the FMCSA regulations. By linking to the electronic documents you know you always have the latest version.

Workflow documents for HOS and DVIR are also available anytime a quick refresher is needed. Alternately, for drivers that prefer video learning, a playlist of video training is also linked to the app. The linked documents and videos are updated when changes are made to the app, so the latest information is always available to the driver.

Geotab ELD for FMCSA

Want Custom HOS Reports? Here’s a dozen to choose from!

Just download the report from the Marketplace and upload it to your database to get the most out of Geotab Drive.

Driver Availability report
Excessive Yard Moves
Drivers On Duty Report
Data Diagnostic & Malfunctions report
Drivers Approaching limit report
Total HOS Violations Report
DVIR Defects Report
HOS driver Violations
Severe violations Cost report
Excessive Personal Conveyance Report
Off Duty to Drive report
Unverified Logs report

DOT Compliance For Small Business

Small Business Explanation

This blog is designed as general information for the small business operator who is unsure if their line or volume of work requires being DOT registered and compliant. The video will help distinguish between a weekend warrior and commercial entity. It will guide you through some of the most common requirements so when you are eventually pulled over you are prepared. It also gives you an idea of how to respond if you are not a commercial entity so you can get on your way quicker. Be sure to check your local regulations and read the FMCSA website for details.

 

Does My Business Need to Be DOT Compliant

Knowing if you need to be DOT compliant as a small business may be confusing. There are a few questions to answer to make this determination. Once realized, you can work to get compliant in an organized manner.

The first criteria is whether your power unit (truck) is being used to generate revenue. Are you acting on behalf of a business to make money? Second is gross vehicle weight. Does your power unit and trailer have a combined GVWR over 10,001 lbs? The gross vehicle weight rating is marked on the decal inside the door jam. Most heavy duty pickup trucks have a GVWR over the 10,001 lbs limit. When you add a trailer to the power unit, it is easy to exceed 10,001 lbs.

Last, where is the vehicle operating? If the vehicle is operating state-to-state, the vehicle is considered to be a commercial vehicle. There are mileage exceptions to this. Most widely used is the 100 air mile short haul exemption. A commercial vehicle that stays withing a 100 mile radius of the work reporting location, and returns to that location within the work day may be exempt. There are also agricultural exemptions for a 150 mile radius.

Always refer to the FMCSA guidelines and FAQ to be sure your vehicle qualifies for an exemption. If DOT compliance is in doubt, contact your local FMCSA filed office for guidance.

 

FMCSA Compliance Made Easy

Once you are designated as a commercial operator, you are required to implement electronic driver logs for hours of service compliance. This can be a daunting realization. Failing to be compliant can lead to all sorts of terrible consequences such as DOT fines, higher insurance rates or even being dropped. On top of that, reduced delivery times with limited driving hours and a host of computer related activities will suck up your time and financial resources.

In contrast, compliance with a full featured ELD system eliminates wasting time correcting paper driver logs, a second set of books, and potential DOT fines. Ultimately it rewards you with happier drivers and less turnover. In the end, your investment in ELD generally pays for itself in many ways. Fortunately, Fleetistics offers ELD, DVIR, IFTA and other services in a single platform to facilitate FMCSA compliance and save you time and money.

 

Basic DOT Compliance Checklist

  • Read and follow your State & FMCSA guidelines
  • Train your drivers and test their knowledge as your first line of defense to a DOT audit
  • Issue and train drivers how to use paper logs if your electronic logging device goes down
  • Carry a correct and properly mounted fire extinguisher
  • Carry a box of three roadside triangles
  • Display your company name, IFTA decals and DOT number on both sides of your vehicl
  • Always keep spare fuses on hand for the vehicle type
  • Have available in cab the proper registration, insurance, ELD documents and CDL
  • Track time on duty and mileage by state for IFTA
  • Maintain annual inspection and documentation

Check out our other blogs on:

GPS Tracking

Fleet Management

Phone Tracking

Tablets & Data

Securing Trailer Cargo

Securing Trailer Cargo For Safety

Unsecured or poorly secured trailer cargo is fairly common on the road. We all see painting vans with a half dozen ladders on the roof, a mattress on top of the car or a carpet hanging out the back doors. Often the body rubs the wheels due to being overloaded. By all means if you want to be pulled over, attract attention to yourself by being this guy. Anyone can be pulled over for being unsafe but the more obvious you are about doing a great job securing your cargo, the less likely you are to get pulled over.

 

Calculating Working Load Requirements

One of the most interesting aspects of securing cargo is calculating the number of straps and the working limit of each. This is covered in the video below but the general rule of thumb is that the straps have to be rated for 50% of the load weight. For example, you have an 8,000 lbs backhoe, your straps or chains need to be rated for 4,000 lbs. You need one in the front and one in the rear. If the cargo is over 10,000 lbs, you must strap all four corners for a working load limit of 50% or higher.

One thing that I learned, and not until watching the video for the second time, is critically important. If your strap loops around the equipment, the strap rating is cut in half. Why? The video doesn’t say but it likely has to do with how the strap was tested and that angles on the equipment may cut into the strap under extreme loads.

What looks to be a smooth rounded edge may decrease the strap strength by 40% when 2,000 lbs of pressure is applied. Consequently if you have to have 4,000 lbs in straps and each strap is rated for 2,000 lbs, if you wrap around the equipment and do not use the hooks, your straps are considered to be only 50% of the listed 2,000 lbs working load. To compensate you will need four 2,000 lbs straps which are considered 1,000 lbs each to get the 4,000 total, or 50% of the 8,000 lbs.

 

Securing Accessories Or Implements On Your Equipment

Often times trailer cargo includes equipment with a boom, grapple, mower or other implements that attach to the equipment. Implements require a separate conversation to ensure they are also secured. There are two ways to secure an implement.

  1. Utilize a factory locking mechanism
  2. Use straps or chains

A factory locking mechanism includes a pin or spring loaded locking handle that keeps the implement in place. These generally are designed for transporting the equipment with the implement attached. As a rule of thumb, if in doubt strap it down. Additionally, if a DOT officer can easily see you have taken the extra steps to secure your load, he/she will likely opt to pull over the truck next to you that did not take great care to be safe.

 

Securing Trailer Cargo Checklist

  • The better it looks, the less likely you are to get stopped. If it looks good, odds are you already did a good job.
  • Straps or chains are sufficient
  • Under 10,000 lbs, 1 strap in front and 1 in the rear
  • Over 10,001 lbs, strap the 4 corners
  • Secure cargo if it will impact the vehicle handling during an emergency maneuver or routine driving
  • Leave the load rating labels on the straps
  • Teach your drivers how to calculate the needed straps or chains based on cargo weight
  • Secure to immovable components, like the frame, not a brush grill
  • When in doubt, add more straps
  • Don’t overload the axles and tire max working load

Check the rules and regulations in the state you operate in and FMCSA for complete details.

 

Check out our other blogs on:

GPS Tracking

Fleet Management

Phone Tracking

Tablets & Data

Four Benefits to the ELD Mandate

The ELD Mandate Can Improve Your Business

 

FMCSAs ELD Mandate provides an outstanding opportunity to simplify and streamline your handwritten recording process. Fleetistics electronic log systems automate the process. This reduces the time required to compile and maintain driver records. Automation means savings for your company. Let us take a look at the benefits of the Fleetistics ELD/eLog/Hours of Service system:

 

ELD Mandate Benefit 1Benefit #1 Elimination of handwritten log books. Fleetistics electronic log system replaces the handwritten log book with an easy-to-use mobile app run on an Android tablet or iOS iPad. Gone are the days of trying to decipher illegible log entries.

 

 


HOS-ELD-Compliance Benefit #2 Simplified roadside compliance reporting. When roadside log inspection is required, drivers simply click a button to instantly display a fully compliant report. As changes occur to reporting requirements, our system incorporates those changes.

 

 


ELD Mandate Benefit 3Benefit #3 Real-time status for dispatchers. Dispatchers and other office-based personnel can obtain a drivers current status instantly.

 

 


ELD Mandate Benefit 4Benefit #4 Digital verification of logs. Never again will it be necessary to chase down a driver to obtain a signature to verify a log entry. Digital verification is provided through the tablet app.

 

 

 


The FMSCA ELD Mandate provides the perfect opportunity to automate the process of maintaining driver log information. Our system also automates compliance with the ELD rules. As changes occur to recordkeeping requirements, our system incorporates the changes to provide users with automatic compliance.

For a live demonstration of the Fleetistics ELD/eLog/Hours of Service system, contact your account manager today.