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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 #16-0058 ([Nebraska State Patrol] [Mr. Brad Wagner])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Nebraska State Patrol

Individual Name: Mr. Brad Wagner

Location State: NE Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

July 11, 2016

Brad Wagner
Nebraska State Patrol
P.O. Box 94907
Lincoln, NE 68509-4907

Reference No. 16-0058

Dear Sergeant Wagner:

This responds to your March 24, 2016 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to placarding. You request clarification on whether an advertisement located on the outside of a transport vehicle would be considered a prohibited placard in accordance with § 172.502(a)(2). In your letter, you provide an example of a blue square-on-point advertisement with a white "W" in the middle.

Section 172.502(a)(2) of the HMR states that, "any sign, advertisement, slogan (such as "Drive Safely"), or device that, by its color, design, shape or content, could be confused with any placard prescribed in this subpart is prohibited." This prohibition is intended to limit the potential dilution of hazard communication provided by the appropriate hazardous materials placards.

It is the opinion of this Office that the advertisement would be considered a prohibited placard. Based on the particulars of the example provided, the advertisement is of a similar shape (e.g., square-on-point configuration), size (e.g., 8.5 inches by 8.5 inches and 15 inches by 15 inches) and color (e.g., similar to the "DANGEROUS WHEN WET" placard) to a placard prescribed in Subpart F of Part 172. Moreover, the advertisement is located on the transport vehicle where placards would normally be found (e.g., on the rear and sides of the box trailer). It is our belief that this advertisement could be confused for a placard in an emergency response situation.

I trust this satisfies your inquiry. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.



Dirk Der Kinderen
Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

172.502(a)(2), 172

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.502 Prohibited and permissive placarding