Commercial Motor Vehicle Traffic Enforcement


CMV Law Enforcement Programs

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CMV traffic law enforcement programs do not require extensive or special training. The same traffic laws that apply to the operator of an automobile, pickup truck, or other non-CMV, also apply to the driver of a CMV. However, some jurisdictions have enacted specific statutes, ordinances, or regulations that place additional restrictions on CMVs such as road/street access, bridge weight limits, lane usage, parking, and time of day limitations. Successful enforcement programs can be established without special equipment or additional personnel by training existing officers in some of the basic characteristics of the CMV and its driver.

When considering development of any enforcement program, an agency must first establish its statutory authority to perform the proposed actions. The agency must then review its enforcement policies and consult the local prosecutor for basic case element requirements. While developing this type of enforcement program, agencies are encouraged to interact with other State and local agencies that have successful programs in place and take advantage of their experience and knowledge. This will not only make program development smoother, it will also expedite implementation, enhance validity, and contribute to its success.

Basic CMV enforcement programs do not require extensive or special training. The same traffic laws that apply to the operator of an automobile, pickup truck, or other non-CMV, also apply to the driver of a CMV.

Before expending planning efforts, it is critical that the agency determine and establish its basic authority and definitions. Some States may restrict local law enforcement agencies from performing CMV enforcement. In general, it prevents or restricts enforcement of CMV equipment, size, weight, or cargo securement violations. This restriction normally is not applicable to traffic enforcement laws.

The basic CMV enforcement program should focus efforts on crash-causing violations that will be addressed in the next module. Officers can accomplish this task without having to obtain additional training in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. A significant positive impact on CMV highway safety can be obtained by enforcing the serious moving violations identified in the previous section.

The following is a work sheet to assist in establishing basic authority and to enforce CMV laws and/or regulations;

List the statutes that govern the authority to enforce CMV laws and/or regulations.
___________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________

What, if any, restrictions are there and how are they applied?
___________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________

What exemptions are granted by statute?
___________________________  _____________________________
___________________________  _____________________________

What vehicles are defined by statute as CMVs?
___________________________  _____________________________
___________________________  _____________________________

Which statutes contain the following?

Moving violations pertaining to drivers of CMVs. ________________
________________________________________________________

Serious moving violations pertaining to drivers of commercial motor vehicles.
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

Commercial driver’s license requirements. ______________________
________________________________________________________

How are traffic violations committed by drivers of CMVs adjudicated? (Check)

Courts ___     Administratively ___

Note: No answers are provided, because these are State-specific.

Traffic law enforcement managers and line officers generally agree that an effective CMV enforcement program involves the use of unmarked or unconventional vehicles. Marked units are often the basic vehicle used in CMV traffic enforcement, with unmarked or unconventional units used to supplement and enhance the overall program.

As with all enforcement programs performed by a law enforcement agency, program monitoring is an important element for effectively identifying high commercial vehicle crash corridors. Program managers are more able to effectively deploy personnel resources for maximum results. Monitoring activity reports, crash reports, violation types, and staff hours expended will allow program managers to determine the effectiveness of the program and to make resource adjustments.

Agencies that combine these basic program elements will be able to develop an effective and flexible commercial vehicle traffic enforcement program and realize a positive impact on motor vehicle safety within their jurisdictions.

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