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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 #13-0165 ([Con-Way Truckload] [Mr. Jeff Messer])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Con-Way Truckload

Individual Name: Mr. Jeff Messer

Location State: MO Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

September 24, 2013

Mr. Jeff Messer
Safety Analyst
Con-Way Truckload
4701 E. 32nd Street
Joplin, MO   64803

Ref. No. 13-0165

Dear Mr. Messer:

This responds to your July 31, 2013 request for clarifications on shipper and carrier responsibility for placarding under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; Parts 171-180). In your incoming letter you state that state inspection stations are writing violations to carriers who were not provided proper placards or were provided improper placards.  You believe those violations should not be applied to the carrier based on the requirements specified in §§ 171.8, 171.2(f) and 172.506.

Your questions are paraphrased and answered below:

Q1.  Is the carrier allowed to trust that a shipper is knowledgeable and that a shipment was prepared in compliance with all HMR requirements?

A1. In accordance with § 171.2(f), each carrier who transports a hazardous material in commerce may rely on information provided by the offeror of the hazardous material, or a prior carrier, unless the carrier knows or, a reasonable person, acting in the circumstances and exercising reasonable care, would have knowledge that the information provided by the offeror or prior carrier is incorrect.

Q2.  Is the intent of §172.506(a) to mandate that if a driver has the proper placards he must affix,  if not already affixed, and maintain those placards on the trailer while transporting the hazardous materials?

A2.  As stated in § 172.506(a)(1), each person offering a motor carrier a hazardous material for transportation by highway must provide the motor carrier with the required placards for the material being offered prior to or at the same time the

material is offered for transportation, unless the carrier’s motor vehicle is already placarded for the material. A motor carrier may not transport a hazardous material in a motor vehicle, unless the required placards for the hazardous materials are affixed as required by the HMR.

I hope this answers your inquiry.  If you need additional assistance, please contact this office at (202) 366-8553.


Robert Benedict
Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

171.8, 171.2(f), 172.506

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.2 General requirements
172.506 Providing and affixing placards: Highway