Like all states, Georgia has adopted by reference the bulk of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for regulation of intrastate trucking. With some limited exceptions, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations are also minimum standard for intrastate motor carriers in Georgia. Georgia Transportation Rules, Chapter 515-16-4-.01 Motor Carrier Safety (Adoption of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Rules), http://www.psc.state.ga.us/transportation/pdf/trans-rules.pdf .
Georgia Forest Products Trucking Rules
Intrastate hauling within Georgia of logs, pulpwood, untreated posts or poles, pine straw, or stumps is governed by the Georgia Forest Products Trucking Rules. Persons hauling for hire wood chips, shavings, bark, saw dust, machined posts or poles, saw mill waste or other processed forest products need only comply with the safety rules in Part One of the rules. The Forest Products Trucking Rules incorporate by reference some provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, while exempting other provisions. The specifics of these rules, albeit inadequate, deal largely with vehicle lighting, reflectors and load securement. Georgia Forest Products Trucking Rules, http://dps.georgia.gov/vgn/images/portal/cit_1210/55/24/52465209Chapter_4_DPS_Transportation_Rules.pdf
Intrastate motor carrier insurance requirements in Georgia
Georgia requires only $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident for intrastate motor carriers. Fortunately, many of the intrastate carriers we encounter actually carry $1 million liability coverage, sometimes due to contractual requirements.
Insurance endorsement forms "E" and "F"
Intrastate motor carrier insurers use "Form E" and "Form F" endorsements to comply with state insurance requirements. Forms "E" and "F" are standard industry forms used for the specific purpose of meeting public liability requirements under commercial auto policies. Similar to the MCS-90, Form "E" applies on a "continuous until cancelled" basis to all motor vehicles operated by the insured carrier named on the form, regardless of whether the autos are specifically listed in the policy. A discrepancy in the identity of the insured between the policyholder and the form filed is resolved in favor of providing the intended coverage.
Direct action against liability insurer
It is permissible under Georgia law for an injured person to join the motor carrier and the motor carrier's liability insurer in the same action. There is no comparable provision under federal law. This does not violate equal protection. The direct action statute provides that "an independent cause of action against the carrier's insurer on behalf of a member of the public injured by the carrier's negligence."
O.C.G.A ? 46-7-12 and ? 46-7-12 authorizes filing suit directly against insurers of motor carriers, as the insurance policy and endorsement thereto are for protection of the public.
Additional resources provided by the author
There is more information in the Georgia Trucking Accident Attorney web site, and much more in seminar papers written by the author.
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