Firm Logo

For a free consultation call

(919) 277-0150

We Put Our Dedicated Team

to work for you

On The Front Lines Of The Legal Battle

What is the Difference Between Interstate and Intrastate Truck Regulations?

Intrastate traffic laws apply to commercial vehicles that operate and deliver goods within the state of North Carolina.

Interstate traffic laws, on the other hand, apply to commercial trucking industry vehicles traveling from one state to another. They are overseen by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

North Carolina’s state regulations govern any commercial truck operating in North Carolina. Like many other states, North Carolina has adopted the regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. However, there are some exceptions worth noting.

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety governs intrastate laws and investigates truck accidents. The department also ensures that trucks comply with rules and regulations.

For more information on the differences between state and federal regulations, contact our highly experienced and award-winning law firm to discuss your case in more detail.

Who Establishes the Rules and Regulations for the Commercial Trucking Industry?

The United States Department of Transportation oversees all commercial and noncommercial motor vehicle activity on our nation’s highways. The FMCSA is the agency within the Department of Transportation that sets the rules and regulations for the commercial trucking industry at a federal level. At a state level, the North Carolina Department of Transportation also has authority to make additional rules and regulations.

A truck driver must comply with the rules set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the North Carolina Department of Transportation in order to operate a commercial truck as part of a trucking company.

What Are the Insurance Requirements for Commercial Trucks in North Carolina?

Commercial truck drivers are required to carry a minimum of $750,000 in liability insurance. This requirement is established at the federal level for Interstate or foreign commercial purchases. It applies to all trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more.

In addition, North Carolina also imposes liability insurance minimums for state commercial truck drivers.

North Carolina truck drivers must carry at least $5,000,000 in liability insurance if they carry poisonous gasses, liquefied compressed gasses, hazardous substances, large portable tanks, or highway route-controlled quantity materials.

Also, North Carolina truckers must carry at least $1 million in liability insurance if they transport hazardous waste, oil, or other hazardous materials or substances.

There is a coverage minimum of $5 million for liability insurance for truck drivers who carry any quantity of Class A or Class B explosives or any quantity of radioactive materials.

When is it Necessary to Obtain a USDOT Number?

If you operate a motor vehicle that weighs over 10,000 lbs. and haul goods across state lines, or if you drive motor vehicles that carry hazardous materials in any amount, you will have to get a number issued by the US Department of Transportation. North Carolina requires commercial trucks to have a USDOT number whether or not they cross state lines while doing business.

Truck drivers must apply for a DOT number through the national registration system.

Is Drug and Alcohol Testing a Requirement?

The state of North Carolina follows federal regulations that mandate drug testing prior to hiring a new truck driver. Additionally, random drug testing will be conducted throughout a truck driver’s career. After an accident, post-accident drug and alcohol testing will be necessary under certain circumstances.

Commercial trucking companies are responsible for enforcing comprehensive work policies for drug and alcohol testing of their drivers. Truck drivers are obligated to comply with these company policies in order to remain employed with their companies. This process is meant to ensure public safety on North Carolina’s roads.

What Are the Weight Limits and Vehicle Standards?

North Carolina imposes specific and fairly strict weight limits on commercial motor vehicles. Federal regulations establish the baseline for weight limits and vehicle standards, but NC has additional rules concerning weight limits, which may vary based on the type of road being traversed and the location of the road.

Regular inspections will examine a truck’s brakes, tires, lights, and other essential mechanisms. Ensuring that commercial trucks are in compliance with state and federal standards is crucial to preventing accidents that may be caused by defective or improperly maintained equipment.

What Are the Federal Hours-of-Service Restrictions?

The FMCSA enforces regulations on hours of service (HOS) in order to help prevent driver fatigue and drowsiness.

H OS regulations apply to both intrastate and Interstate trucking operations. Truck drivers are restricted to 11 hours of driving time for every 14-hour consecutive window. Upon reaching the 11-hour limit, there is a mandatory minimum of 10 consecutive hours off duty.

Does NC Have State-Specific Hours-of-Service Regulations?

North Carolina’s HOS regulations dictate that intrastate truck drivers cannot operate their vehicle for more than 12 hours following eight consecutive hours off duty. Additionally, North Carolina truck drivers cannot operate their vehicles or be on duty for more than 70 hours for every seven day work week (or more than 80 hours for every eight days).

Are Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) Mandatory in North Carolina?

Commercial trucks in North Carolina must utilize electronic logging devices (ELDS) to monitor hours of service. This requirement seeks to ensure compliance with regulations and deter the falsifying of driver logs.

What Are the Rules for Reporting Truck Accidents?

In North Carolina, commercial truck drivers must report any significant accident to appropriate law enforcement personnel. Any trucking collision that results in a fatality must be reported to the Public Service Commission within a day of the accident.

Truck accidents that do not result in fatalities must be reported within 15 days. No truck accident can be reported later than 30 days.

Contact Our Law Firm to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation Today

Our personal injury law firm has extensive experience representing clients in complex truck accident cases. To learn more about our legal services, we encourage all prospective new clients to contact our North Carolina Law Offices to schedule their free case evaluations today.

You may contact our law office by calling us at 919-277-0150