The commercial trucking industry is subject to countless regulations promulgated by federal and state agencies. Both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS) have enacted a set of laws governing large trucks and tractor-trailers, both for the protections of the drivers as well as that of the general public. Below, find information on a sample of the most important laws affecting commercial truck drivers. For assistance after a Mississippi truck accident, contact the experienced and knowledgeable truck accident attorney Corban Gunn for a consultation.
Commercial Operator Licenses
Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) are issued by the Mississippi Highway Patrol’s Motor Carrier Safety Division (MCSD). In order to drive a large truck weighing over 10,001 lbs.; a vehicle transporting between 9-15 passengers for compensation; a vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers; or a vehicle transporting hazardous materials, you must obtain either a Class A, B, C, or D license, as well as any necessary endorsements, depending on the type of hauling being done. Drivers must also pass a physical exam by a FMCSA-certified medical examiner to ensure that they are safe behind the wheel.
Class A: This type of license is necessary to drive a truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 lbs+, or one towing a vehicle with a weight rating of 10,001 lbs. or more.
Class B: This type of license is necessary to drive a single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 26,001 lbs.
Class C: This type of license is necessary to drive a vehicle with a weight rating of less than 26,001 lbs which is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers (driver included), or to transport hazardous materials.
Class D: This type of license is required for all other commercial drivers.
Commercial driver’s license endorsements include: H (for hazardous materials), T (for driving double or triple trailers), P (for carrying passengers), and X (authorizing both transportation of hazardous materials and driving a tank vehicle).
Maximum vehicle size in Mississippi
Commercial vehicles weighing over 57,650 lbs. are not permitted on small highways, and vehicles weighing over 80,000 pounds will not be permitted on major highways and interstates in Mississippi without obtaining an oversize or overweight permit.
Vehicles with an indivisible load exceeding 99 feet, a rear overhang of 15 feet or more, a height of over 13 feet 6 inches, or a width of over 8 feet 6 inches will need to apply to the Mississippi Department of Transportation Permits Division for a permit for an over-dimensional or excess weight motor vehicle move. Such loads will not be permitted on posted bridges.
Large trucks are obligated to stop at weigh stations located throughout the state. However, commercial vehicles are permitted to register with the electronic Prepass system, which will allow registered vehicles to bypass weigh stations.
Understanding these regulations and whether truck driver and trucking company were in compliance can be critical to the success of your truck accident claim and recovery of maximum compensation for your injuries from the responsible party. If you have been injured in a crash involving a large truck or tractor trailer in Biloxi or surrounding areas, contact the seasoned and knowledgeable Gulfport truck accident attorney Corban Gunn for a consultation, at 228.284.6805.