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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #02-0250 ([Royalty Trucking, Inc.] [Larry Riestenberg])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Royalty Trucking, Inc.

Individual Name: Larry Riestenberg

Location State: OH Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Nov 8, 2002

Mr. Larry Riestenberg                 Reference No. 02-0250
Safety Director
Royalty Trucking, Inc.
588 W. Seymour Ave.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45216

Dear Mr. Riestenberg

This is in response to your September 11, 2002, letter requesting clarification of the emergency response information requirements under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  Specifically you ask whether the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) could be stored in a compartment behind, the driver seat, within the driver's immediate reach while restrained by his seatbelt.

Your answer is no.  In accordance with § 172.602(c)(1), each carrier who transports a hazardous material shall maintain the information specified in paragraph (a) of this section and § 172.606 of this part in the same manner as prescribed for shipping papers.  Section 177.817 addresses shipping papers and emergency response information accessibility for highway shipments.

In § 177.817(c) a driver of a motor vehicle containing hazardous material, and each carrier using such a vehicle, shall ensure that the shipping paper required by this section is readily available to and recognizable by authorities in the event of accident or inspection.

Specifically, the driver and the carrier shall:

  1. Clearly distinguish the shipping paper, if it is carried with other shipping papers or other papers of any kind, by either distinctively tabbing it or by having it appear first; and
  2. Store the shipping paper as follows:

    When the driver is at the vehicle's controls, the shipping paper shall be:

    1. Within his immediate reach while he is restrained by the lap belt; and
    2. (2)Either readily visible to a person entering the driver's compartment or in a holder which is mounted to the inside of the door on the driver's side of the vehicle.

    When the driver is not at the vehicle's controls, the shipping paper shall be:

    1. IN a holder which is mounted to the inside of the door on the driver's side of the vehicle; or
    2. On the driver's seat in the vehicle.

Therefore, unless the ERG in the compartment behind the drivers seat is "readily visible" to a Person entering the driver's compartment, the ERG would not be maintained as required in § 177.817(e)(2).

I apologize for any inconvenience or confusion as a result, of your contact with a Hazardous Material Information Center Specialist.

I hope this information is helpful.  Please contact us if you require additional assistance.


Delmer F. Billings
Chief, Standards Development
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.602 Emergency response information