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Chapter 6.5. Motor Carrier Safety * Article 3. General Driving Requirements Vehicle Condition.   

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(a) General. It shall be unlawful for the driver to drive a vehicle that is not in safe operating condition or is not equipped as required by all provisions of law and this chapter.

(b) Daily Inspection. Pursuant to Sections 1202.1 and 1202.2, all drivers shall perform vehicle inspections and submit written reports in accordance with the requirements of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Sections 396.11 and 396.13, as follows:

(1) Before driving a motor vehicle, the driver shall:

(A) Inspect each vehicle daily to ascertain that it is in safe operating condition and equipped as required by all provisions of law, and all equipment is in good working order;

(B) Review the last vehicle inspection report;

(C) Sign the report, only if defects or deficiencies were noted by the driver who prepared the report, to acknowledge that the driver has reviewed it and that there is a certification pursuant to subsection (f) that the required repairs have been performed. The signature requirement does not apply to listed defects on a towed unit which is no longer part of the vehicle combination.

(2) Subsections (B) and (C) do not apply to school bus drivers or publicly owned and operated transit system drivers.

(c) Daily Report. Every motor carrier shall require its drivers to report, and every driver shall prepare a report in writing at the completion of each day's work on each vehicle operated. School bus drivers' reports shall cover at least the items listed in subdivision (d), and all other drivers' reports shall cover at least the following parts and accessories:

(1) Service brakes including trailer brake connections

(2) Parking (hand) brake

(3) Steering mechanism

(4) Lighting devices and reflectors

(5) Tires

(6) Horn

(7) Windshield wipers

(8) Rear vision mirrors

(9) Coupling devices

(10) Wheels and rims

(11) Emergency equipment

(d) School bus drivers. For school bus drivers, the inspection shall include, but is not limited to:

(1) All gauges, indicators, and warning devices

(2) Horns

(3) Driver's seat and seat belts

(4) All doors, door emergency releases, and windows

(5) All seats, handrails, and modesty panels

(6) Interior and exterior lighting systems

(7) All heating, cooling, and ventilating systems

(8) All glass and mirrors, including adjustment of mirrors

(9) Windshield wipers and washers

(10) All required emergency equipment

(11) All tires, wheels, and lugnuts

(12) Brake system

(A) Air compressor governor cut in and cut out pressures

(B) Static pressure for air loss

(C) Applied brake pressure loss

(D) Low air pressure warning devices

(E) Emergency stopping systems (draining reservoirs in dual air systems is not required)

(F) Parking brake

(G) Antiskid device (if equipped)

(H) Vacuum gauge, ensuring it reads not less than 15 inches

(I) Low vacuum warning devices

(J) Brake pedal for brake adjustment

(e) Report Content. The report shall identify the motor vehicle and all towed vehicles and list any defect or deficiency discovered by or reported to the driver which would affect safety of operation of the motor vehicle or combination or result in its mechanical breakdown. If no defect or deficiency is discovered by or reported to the driver, the report(s) shall so indicate. In all instances, the driver shall sign the vehicle inspection report. On two-driver operations, only one driver needs to sign the report, provided both drivers agree as to the defects or deficiencies. If a driver operates more than one vehicle during the day, a report shall be prepared for each vehicle operated.

(f) Corrective Action. Prior to operating a motor vehicle, motor carriers or their authorized agent(s) shall effect repair of any item listed on the motor vehicle inspection report(s) that would be likely to affect the safety of operation of the motor vehicle or any towed vehicles.

(1) Motor carriers or their authorized agents shall certify on the report(s) which lists any defects or deficiencies, that the defects or deficiencies have been corrected or that correction is unnecessary before the vehicle is again dispatched.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to school bus or publicly owned and operated transit system motor carriers.

(g) Repairs. Unless the driver of a school bus or SPAB is the mechanic charged with the care and maintenance of the bus, the driver shall not make any repairs of the bus or its equipment except necessary emergency repairs on the road.

(h) Exception. Subsection (c) shall not apply to a motor carrier operating only one motor vehicle, provided the motor vehicle is a motor truck or truck tractor, and the motor carrier is the owner and sole driver of the motor vehicle. A motor carrier, otherwise excepted from the reporting requirement by this subdivision, who tows trailer(s) not owned by or leased to that motor carrier, shall submit documented daily report(s) for the trailers as required by subsection (b). Such reports shall be submitted to the person(s) from whom the trailers were obtained.

(i) Private motor carriers of passengers. The exemption provided to private motor carriers of passengers in 49 CFR Section 396.11(d), shall not apply to intrastate private motor carriers of passengers operating any bus, as defined in Vehicle Code Section 233.

Authority cited:

Vehicle Code 31401

Vehicle Code 34501

Vehicle Code 34501.5


Vehicle Code 31401

Vehicle Code 34501

Vehicle Code 34501.5

(Amended by Register 99, No. 31)