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  • § 397.1
    Application of the rules in this part.
  • § 397.5
    Attendance and surveillance of motor vehicles.
  • § 397.7
  • § 397.9
  • § 397.13

Part 397

Section § 397.5: Attendance and surveillance of motor vehicles.

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View regulations for Part 397

Question 1: What defines a "public highway" or "shoulder" of a public highway for the purpose of determining violations under §397.5(c)?

Guidance: The applicable engineering/highway design plans.

Question 2: Must a driver of a motor vehicle transporting HM, other than Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 (Class A or B) explosives, always maintain an unobstructed view and be within 100 feet of that vehicle?

Guidance: No. If the vehicle is not located on a public street or highway or on the shoulder of a public highway, then the vehicle need not be within 100 feet of the driver’s unobstructed view, unless it contains Division 1.1, 1.2,or 1.3 (Class A or B)materials.

Question 3: May a motor carrier consider fuel stop operators as "qualified representative(s)" for purposes of the attendance and surveillance requirements of §397.5?

Guidance: Yes. However, the fuel stop operator must be able to perform the required functions.

Question 4: Who determines what is a "safe haven"?

Guidance: The selection of safe havens is a decision of the "competent government authorities" having jurisdiction over the area. The definition found in §397.5(d)(3) is purposely void of any specific guidelines or criteria. A truck stop may be considered a safe haven if it is so designated by local or State governmental authorities.

Question 5: Section 397.5(d)(3) describes a safe haven as "* * * an area specifically approved in writing by local, State, or Federal governmental authorities for the parking of unattended vehicles containing Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 materials." Do guidelines exist for establishing approval criteria for safe havens? Is there a national list of approved safe havens available to the public?

Guidance: The FHWA believes the safe haven concept is becoming increasingly obsolete due to readily available alternatives for providing "attendance at all times" for vehicles laden with explosives. The FHWA is aware of two documents that may be used as resources for establishing approval criteria for safe havens. The first document, Construction and Maintenance Procedure Recommendations for Proposed Federal Guidelines of Safe Havens for Vehicles Carrying Class A or Class B Explosives (1985), contains design, construction, and maintenance guidelines. The second document, Recommended National Criteria for the Establishment and Operation of Safe Havens (1990), contains recommended national uniform criteria for approval of safe havens and an inventory of all State-approved safe havens in existence at the time of the report. These two documents may be used both as resources for establishing guidelines for safe haven design and construction, and as source documents for finding other materials that may be used toward the same purpose. These two documents are available to the public through the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Technical Information Service (NTIS), Springfield, Virginia 22161 (phone: (703) 487-4650). The NTIS publications database is also accessible on the internet’s world wide web at

Question 6: May video monitors be used to satisfy the attendance requirements in §397.5?

Guidance: The purpose of the attendance requirement is to ensure that motor vehicles containing hazardous materials are attended at all times and that, in the event of an emergency involving the motor vehicle, the attendant is able to respond immediately. The use of video monitors could satisfy the attendance requirements in §397.5, provided the monitors are operable and continuously manned, the attendant is within 30.48 meters (100 feet) of the parked vehicle with an unobstructed view, and the attendant is able to go to the vehicle immediately from the monitoring location.

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