HazMat Transportation

Lack of Registration Number Tops in Hazmat Violations

Don’t get caught short by a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) roadside inspection. In its most recent data for fiscal year (FY) 2016, DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) had performed 26,570 roadside inspections of trucks targeting compliance with hazardous materials transportation regulations. During these inspections, DOT inspectors found 5,894 violations.

The top violation DOT inspectors have found so far in FY 2016 is that there is no copy of the U.S. DOT hazardous materials registration number. At 578 violations, this mistake accounted for almost 10% of the total violations. Following at a close second, inspectors have found 518 instances where packages were not secured in the vehicles.

Three of the top 10 violations have to do with placarding requirements. In some cases the placards were not there at all and in some cases, the placards were damaged or obscured.

Another 3 of the top 10 violations are related to shipping papers.  For instance, did you realize that when the driver is not in the truck that the shipping papers must be in a holder that is mounted to the inside of the door on the driver’s side of the vehicle or on the driver’s seat in the vehicle?


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The DOT deemed one scenario noncompliant when the carrier’s book that contained material related to the shipment was too big to fit in the door pocket of the vehicle. The carrier wanted to know if it was alright to place the book in a holder installed to the left of the driver’s seat, but not in the door itself. The DOT said that was fine as long as the driver was at the vehicle controls but not when the driver is not at the vehicle controls. According to the DOT, these shipping paper accessibility requirements were established to standardize shipping paper locations so emergency response personnel could better locate them during an incident.

Here’s a look at the top 10 hazmat transportation violations by trucks uncovered by DOT inspectors so far this FY 2016.

 

Regulation

Violation Description

# of inspections

# of violations

% of total violations

1

49 CFR 107.620

No copy of U.S. DOT Hazardous Materials Registration number

578

578

9.81%

2

49 CFR 177.834

Package not secure in vehicle

494

518

8.79%

3

49 CFR 172.516

Placard damaged, deteriorated, or obscured

297

321

5.45%

4

49 CFR 177.817

Shipping paper inaccessibility

281

281

4.77%

5

49 CFR 172.504

Vehicle not placarded as required

249

261

4.43%


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Regulation

Violation Description

# of inspections

# of violations

% of total violations

6

49 CFR 177.817

No shipping papers (carrier)

253

259

4.39%

7

49 CFR 172.502

Failure to provide carrier required placards

212

223

3.78%

8

49 CFR 172.202

Failure to enter basic description of hazardous materials in proper sequence

180

181

3.07%

9

49 CFR 397.3

State/local ordinances regulations

171

181

3.07%

10

49 CFR 172.602

Emergency response information missing

167

167

2.83%

 Data Source: FMCSA Motor Carrier Management Information System

In FY 2015, the DOT performed 191,127 inspections for compliance with hazardous materials regulations. The total number of hazmat violations uncovered in FY 2015 was 42,584. The top violation in FY 2015 was unsecured packages in vehicles. Interestingly, the violation that held the second spot in 2015 was the lack of a copy of the hazardous materials registration number.

As a matter of fact, nine of the top ten hazmat violations in FY 2015 are showing up as part of the top ten in 2016. The one that broke into the top ten for FY 2016 so far is the failure to drive and park in compliance with state and local ordinances and regulations. That violation ranked 15th at the end of FY 2015.

At the end of FY 2016, we will take a look at where the hazmat violations rankings stand.