Vehicle Code – VC 32001

(a)(1) Any authorized employee of the department may inspect any sealed or unsealed vehicle, container, or shipment subject to this division in maintenance facilities, terminals, or other public or private property to ascertain the quantity and kind of hazardous material and to ensure compliance with the provisions of this code and regulations adopted pursuant to this code.

(2) If a seal is opened for inspection, the department shall reseal any vehicle, container, or shipment prior to further transportation.(b) Unless specifically stated, nothing contained in this division shall be deemed to exempt any vehicle transporting a hazardous material subject to this division or the operator or any other person from other provisions of this code.

(c) No motor carrier shall direct the transportation of any shipment of a hazardous material in any vehicle unless all of the following are complied with:

(1) The vehicle is equipped as required by this code and applicable regulations adopted pursuant to law.

(2) The shipment complies with laws and regulations pertaining to the shipment or transportation of hazardous material.

(3) The motor carrier holds a valid license for the transportation of hazardous materials.

(4)(A) A vehicle or combination of vehicles required to display placards pursuant to Section 27903 is equipped with a two-way communication device, maintained in good working order, that enables the driver to contact the personnel responsible for the safety operations of the motor carrier in the event of an emergency.

(B) For the purposes of this section, “two-way communication device” means a radio, cellular telephone, or other similar device that permits communication between the driver and personnel responsible for the safety operations of the motor carrier.

(5)(A) The enclosed cargo body, when the display of placards is required pursuant to Section 27903 , shall be locked and remain locked during transit of the hazardous materials so as to prevent any unauthorized entry and shall be opened only during loading, unloading, or at the direction of a peace officer, an authorized employee of the department, or a person authorized pursuant to Section 25185 of the Health and Safety Code .

(B) A driver transporting hazardous material in a locked cargo body shall verify that all locks are in place if the vehicle has been left unattended for any length of time.  Each driver shall make a notation in his or her log book of the time and date that the verification occurred.

(C) For the purposes of this section, “cargo body” means a fully enclosed area that is an integral part of the vehicle and designed to encapsulate the entire load, such as a van body or an intermodal freight container, and does not mean a tank or flatbed type of vehicle.

(d) The commissioner may issue exemptions from the provisions of this section.

(e) Nothing in this section shall limit the ability of other state or local agencies to carry out their regulatory, enforcement, or emergency response duties under other provisions of law.