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      RS 32:384     


§384.  Trailers and towed vehicles

A.  The drawbar or connection between two vehicles, when one is towing the other, shall be of sufficient strength to pull all weight towed thereby and shall not exceed fifteen feet from one vehicle to the other, except that the drawbar or connection may exceed fifteen feet between any two vehicles transporting poles, pipes, machinery, or other objects of a structural nature which cannot be readily dismembered.

B.  When the connection between a vehicle and a towed vehicle is a chain, rope, or cable, a red flag or cloth not less than one foot square shall be displayed upon such connection between sunrise and sunset, and a red light, plainly visible under ordinary atmospheric conditions for a distance of at least five hundred feet, shall be displayed upon such connection between sunset and sunrise.

C.  Truck-tractors may be transported by a drawbar, pintle connection, or by the triple saddle mount method of transportation, consisting of a combination of four truck-tractors where the front axle of one truck-tractor is mounted on the fifth wheel of the lead truck-tractor, the front axle of the third truck-tractor is mounted on the fifth wheel of the second truck-tractor, and the front axle of the fourth truck-tractor is mounted on the fifth wheel of the third truck-tractor; and with the rear wheels of the second, third, and fourth truck-tractors trailing on the ground behind the operating motor unit, provided that:

(1)  The combination of vehicles shall be equipped with necessary lights and signals in accordance with Louisiana law and Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety, United States Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration Safety Rules and Regulations;

(2)  The rear wheels of the second, third, and fourth truck-tractors of the combination shall be equipped with adequate splash guards or mud flaps; and,

(3)  It shall be unlawful to operate this combination of vehicles in excess of fifty-five miles per hour.

D.  Every trailer and semitrailer with a loaded gross weight capacity of up to six thousand pounds shall be equipped with safety chains or other safety device approved in accordance with Subsection E.  The safety chains or other approved safety device shall be securely attached to the towing vehicle when the trailer or semitrailer is in motion and shall be of sufficient strength to hold the trailer behind the towing vehicle in case the connection between the two vehicles detaches.

E.(1)  The Department of Public Safety and Corrections, office of state police, shall have the authority to approve safety devices other than safety chains to be used when towing trailers or semitrailers.  The approval of a safety device shall be in writing.  Any such device shall be inspected by the office of state police before written approval is given.  The following criteria shall be considered in making the determination of whether or not to approve such safety device as an alternative to safety chains:

(a)  The physical characteristics of the device, including but not limited to the material or materials used in constructing the device.

(b)  The method by which the device is attached to the trailer or semitrailer.

(c)  The overall strength of the device.

(2)  The office of state police shall promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act to implement the provisions of this Subsection, including but not limited to the procedure for accepting and processing applications for approval of alternative safety devices.

Acts 1977, No. 113, §1, eff. June 22, 1977.  Acts 1984, No. 315, §1; Acts 1997, No. 940, §1; Acts 1999, No. 512, §1.

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