EQUIPMENT OF VEHICLES
Safety Devices Required for Transporting
266:72-a Motor Carriers; Equipment; Roadside Inspections.
I. The commissioner may adopt as rules, under RSA 541-A, the current version of the federal motor carrier safety regulations promulgated by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, contained in 49 C.F.R. parts 107, 380, and 382-397. Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 541-A, any amendments or additions by the respective federal agencies or their successor agencies shall also amend or supplement the rules adopted by the commissioner of safety without further action on the part of the commissioner. The commissioner shall be authorized to exempt vehicles and drivers operating exclusively in intrastate commerce from such rules which the commissioner determines impose an unnecessary regulatory burden without providing a corresponding safety benefit.
II. Whenever the commissioner finds that a motor carrier safety regulation in 49 C.F.R. sections 390-397, provides an equal or greater degree of safety the commissioner may, pursuant to RSA 260:5, adopt the federal regulation as a rule, and the rule shall take precedence over the conflicting provisions of this title. No person who is in compliance with the corresponding rule adopted by the commissioner shall be convicted of violating a conflicting provision of this title. The commissioner shall request the introduction, at the next annual session of the legislature following adoption of such a rule, of legislation amending or repealing the conflicting provision of this title and, if the legislation is not enacted, any rule so adopted shall be automatically repealed 60 days after the last day of the legislative session.
III. The drivers of all vehicles subject to the motor carrier rules who operate exclusively in intrastate commerce shall be subject to the medical examination, written tests, and road tests required by 49 C.F.R. sections 391.31-391.49, as amended, provided, however, that the commissioner may waive specific requirements or standards of the medical examination for any such driver who has a valid commercial driver's license issued by this state on or after January 1, 1990, if it would not jeopardize public safety to grant such a waiver. The commissioner may adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A relative to standards for the granting of such waivers. The department shall make interested parties aware of the provisions of this paragraph. Once a waiver is granted under this paragraph, the waiver shall be placed on the medical examination card required by federal regulation.
III-a. Paragraph III shall not apply to intrastate transportation performed by the state, or any political subdivision of the state. However, nothing in this section shall prevent or inhibit any public employer from establishing internal policies making the motor carrier safety rules applicable to its vehicles and drivers.
IV. Utility service vehicle drivers providing intrastate service shall be exempt from the provisions of 49 C.F.R. 395 as adopted pursuant to this section.
V. (a) A driver of a motor carrier shall stop the vehicle on the request of any enforcement officer of the department of safety or other law enforcement agent certified to conduct truck inspections or by command of roadside signs so that the officer may:
(A) Vehicle components.
(B) Driver's physical condition.
(C) Cargo condition.
(2) Enter the cab or cargo area as necessary to determine that:
(A) The vehicle is in safe operating condition.
(B) The cargo is properly secured.
(b) Every owner/operator of a motor carrier, or his or her authorized agent, shall submit accounts, books, records, memoranda, correspondence, and other documents for inspection, upon demand by any enforcement officer of the department of safety or other law enforcement agent certified to conduct truck inspections who in the course of enforcing the motor carrier rules is acting within the scope of his or her duties and authority, at the motor carrier's principal place of business during regular business hours.
(c) Any operator who fails to stop or allow inspection as described in subparagraph (a) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. A second violation of subparagraph (a) shall result in suspension of the person's license or privilege to drive in New Hampshire and notification of such suspension to national motor vehicle license databases.
VI. The driver of any vehicle operating intrastate and registered with New Hampshire farm or agricultural plates and with a gross vehicle weight, gross vehicle weight rating, or gross combination weight rating of 26,000 pounds or less; designed or used to transport fewer than 16 passengers, including the driver; and which does not transport materials required to be placarded pursuant to 49 C.F.R. part 172, subpart F, shall be exempt from the provisions of 49 C.F.R. parts 391, 392, 393, 395, and 396, as adopted as rules pursuant to this section, except that such exemption shall not apply to the requirements of 49 C.F.R. section 392.3, operating while fatigued or ill, 49 C.F.R. section 392.4, use of illegal drugs or substances, 49 C.F.R. section 392.5, driver use of alcohol, 49 C.F.R. part 393, subpart C, brakes, and 49 C.F.R. section 396.7, unsafe operations forbidden.
Source. 1985, 213:24. 1989, 139:1. 1997, 252:2, 3. 2008, 187:1, 2. 2012, 172:2. 2013, 180:9, eff. Jan. 1, 2014; 185:1, eff. July 2, 2013. 2020, 33:16, eff. July 24, 2020.