(a)(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b), no person may operate a commercial motor vehicle in this state, or fail to maintain required records or reports, in violation of the federal motor carrier safety regulations as prescribed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, 49 C.F.R. Part 107, Parts 171-180, Parts 382-387, and Parts 390-399 and as they may be amended in the future. Except as otherwise provided herein, this chapter shall not be construed to repeal or supersede other laws relating to the operation of motor vehicles.
(2)a. No person may operate a commercial motor vehicle in this state in violation of 49 C.F.R. §393.120, as amended, relating to load securement for certain metal coils.
b. No one owning, leasing, or allowing a commercial vehicle to be operated in this state shall knowingly or negligently be in violation of 49 C.F.R. §393.120, as amended, relating to load securement for metal coils.
(3) No person may knowingly or negligently own or lease or cause to be operated on any public highway, road, street, or other public right-of-way a commercial motor vehicle loaded with a metal coil in a manner that fails to comply with 49 C.F.R. §393.120 and thereby allows a metal coil to drop, fall, spill, shift, or otherwise escape from the commercial vehicle onto any public highway, road, street, or any other public right-of-way.
(4)a. No motor carrier may initiate or terminate in this state the commercial transport of metal coils, as defined in 49 C.F.R. §393.120, unless the commercial vehicle operator is certified in proper load securement as provided in 49 C.F.R. §393.120. Certification shall be conducted according to standards published by the Department of Public Safety and certified by the motor carrier and the driver on forms provided by the department.
b. The operator of a commercial motor vehicle involved in the commercial transport of metal coils subject to this subdivision shall be certified in proper load securement as provided in 49 C.F.R. §393.120.
(5) Except as it relates to subdivision (3), no law enforcement officer may make an arrest or issue a citation under this chapter unless he or she has satisfactorily completed, as a part of his or her training, the basic course of instruction developed by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. Those law enforcement officers authorized to enforce this chapter shall annually receive in service training related to commercial motor vehicle operations, including, but not limited to, training in current federal motor carrier safety regulations, safety inspection procedures, and out-of-service criteria. The annual training requirements shall be designated and specified by the director. An officer qualified under this section to make an arrest or issue a citation pursuant to subdivision (3) may arrest or issue a citation to the driver of a commercial motor vehicle without a warrant and without witnessing the violation personally if, upon personal investigation, the officer has reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred.
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) or any other provision of law to the contrary:
(1) Amendments to the hours of service regulations promulgated by the U.S. Department of Transportation at 68 Federal Register 22456, April 28, 2003 and effective June 27, 2003, shall not apply to utility service vehicles as defined at 49 C.F.R. §395.2, not including television cable or community antenna service vehicles, which are owned or operated by utilities regulated by the Public Service Commission or electric cooperatives and which are engaged solely in intrastate commerce in this state until June 27, 2006, provided the amendments are valid and remain in effect as of that date. Hours of service regulations that are applicable in this state immediately prior to June 27, 2003, shall remain applicable to utility service vehicles engaged solely in intrastate commerce in this state until June 27, 2006. If the U.S. Department of Transportation issues an official finding that this provision may result in the loss of federal Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program funding, the department may promulgate regulations providing for earlier implementation of the amendments to the federal hours of service regulations. If federal law or regulations are amended at any time to exempt utility service vehicles from the hours of service requirements, any exemption shall be effective in this state immediately for the duration of the federal exemption.
(2) The department may promulgate regulations suspending the effective date for up to three years after adoption of any motor carrier safety regulation by the U.S. Department of Transportation as applied to vehicles engaged solely in intrastate commerce in this state, provided that the suspension does not result in the loss of federal Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program funding.
(3) The department may enter into agreements with state and local emergency management agencies and private parties establishing procedures for complying with 49 U.S.C. §31502(e) and federal regulations promulgated thereto at 49 C.F.R. §390.23 which provide an exemption from the hours of service regulations during certain emergencies.
(4) The department may promulgate regulations granting any waiver, variance, or exemption permitted under 49 U.S.C. §31104(h) and federal regulations promulgated thereto at 49 C.F.R. §§350.339-350.345, provided that the waiver, variance, or exemption does not result in the loss of federal Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program funding and does not take effect unless approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation if that approval is required.
(5) A commercial motor vehicle operated in intrastate commerce which does not equal or exceed 26,001 pounds, except a motor vehicle, regardless of weight, which is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or which is used in the transportation of hazardous materials and required to be placarded pursuant to 49 C.F.R. Part 172, Subpart F, shall be exempt from the federal motor carrier regulations otherwise made applicable in this state pursuant to subsection (a). For purposes of this subdivision, commercial motor vehicle means a commercial motor vehicle as defined in 49 C.F.R. §390.5.
(6) For purposes of those provisions of 49 C.F.R. §395 providing for exemptions from the hours of service requirements of that section respecting the operation of motor vehicles for the transportation of agricultural commodities as contemplated in that section, the planting and harvesting season for this state is defined by the Legislature as the period from April 1 of each calendar year to March 31 of the next succeeding calendar year.
(c) Nothing in this section as amended by Act 2008-336 shall be interpreted to exempt any person from the obligations to operate a motor vehicle in a safe and proper manner or to observe the rules of the road, nor shall any provision of this section as amended by Act 2008-336 be interpreted to immunize any person from civil liability for actionable conduct.
(d) The Department of Public Safety shall publish standards for training drivers of commercial motor vehicles in proper load securement for metal coils as provided in 49 C.F.R. §393.120 and provide for certification of drivers of commercial motor vehicles carrying metal coils.