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Top 3 hazmat violations in 2021

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) Analysis & Information (A&I) online data, the top three hazardous materials regulations violations so far this year are as follows:

  1. Package not secure in vehicle (177.834(a))
  2. No copy of US DOT Hazardous Materials Registration Number (107.620(b))
  3. Shipping paper accessibility (177.817(e))

“Package not secure in vehicle” has been at the top of the list for the past four years (that’s as far as the data goes back).

Driver focus

Drivers are responsible for the hazmat load at the time of inspection and may need to be reminded of their responsibilities:

1. Package securement

While on the road, packages containing hazmat and not permanently attached to the vehicle must be secured to minimize shifting. Additionally, drivers need to know that certain hazmat cannot be transported with other types of hazmat. This information is laid out in the segregation table in 177.848.

2. No copy of USDOT Hazardous Materials Registration Number

If you’re required to obtain the hazardous material registration, you’re required to keep copies of the registration statement and the certificate of registration at your principal place of business. Drivers must carry a copy of your current certificate of registration, or another document bearing your current year’s registration number identified as the “U.S. DOT Hazmat Reg. No.” Every vehicle you use for hazmat transportation that meets the registration criteria must carry this proof of registration. Make sure this documentation is on board and drivers know where to find it.

3. Shipping papers

While transporting hazmat by highway, shipping papers have very specific requirements because they need to be accessible to authorities in the event of an incident or accident. Be sure to remind drivers that: The hazmat shipping papers must be clearly distinguished from other papers.

  • The shipping papers must be within the immediate reach of the driver when the driver is restrained by the seat belt.
  • The shipping papers must be readily visible to anyone entering the driver’s compartment or in a pouch or holder mounted on the inside of the driver’s side door.
  • If the driver is not in the vehicle, the shipping papers must be either in the door pouch, the door holder, or the driver’s seat.

Additionally, shipping papers must have emergency response information on or in association with the shipping paper.