Federal Motor Vechicle Safety Standards Expert Witness Q & A

Federal motor vehicle safety standards expert witness Michael K. Napier of Napier Diversified Services, Inc., answers the question, What is the applicable law that relates to the commercial trucking industry?

The FHWA is the government agency responsible for the issuance, administration, and enforcement of Federal Motor Carrier Regulations (FMCSR). The FMCSRs are found at 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 325, 350, and 382-399. The Hazardous Materials Regulations for motor carriers are found at 49 CFR Parts 100-180. In addition, 49 CFR Part 40 regulates drug and alcohol testing requirements for motor carriers.

All carriers engaged in interstate commerce within the United States, even if from Mexico or Canada, must comply with these federal regulations. The laws of Mexico and Canada, which are less stringent than in the United States, do not apply to Mexican and Canadian trucks driving in the United States, although some interesting North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) issues are raised when trying to make the truck sizes and weights compatible between the countries.