Division 14. Transportation Of Explosives of California Vehicle Code >> Division 14.
For the purposes of this division "explosive" or "explosives"
means any substance, or combination of substances, the primary or
common purpose of which is detonation or rapid combustion and which
is capable of a relatively instantaneous or rapid release of gas and
heat. "Explosive" or "explosives" includes, but is not necessarily
limited to, explosives as defined in Section 12000 of the Health and
Safety Code, and any of the following:
(a) Dynamite, nitroglycerine, picric acid, lead azide, fulminate
of mercury, black powder, smokeless powder, propellant explosives,
detonating primers, blasting caps, commercial boosters, ammonium
nitrate-fuel oil mixture (blasting agent), or any explosives as
defined in Section 841 of Title 18 of the United States Code and
published pursuant to Section 555.23 of Title 27 of the Code of
Federal Regulations, when transported in a combined load with any
explosive, as defined in this section.
(b) Substances determined to be division 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, or 1.6
explosives as classified by the United States Department of
(c) "Explosive" or "explosives" does not include small arms
ammunition or any other division 1.4 explosive.
(d) This division shall not apply to special fireworks classified
by the United States Department of Transportation as division 1.2 or
1.3 explosives when those special fireworks are regulated by and in
conformance with Part 2 (commencing with Section 12500) of Division
11 of the Health and Safety Code.
(e) Nothing in this chapter supersedes any regulations for the
transportation of hazardous materials as defined in Section 2402.7 or
as regulated in Division 14.1 (commencing with Section 32000).
(a) This division shall apply to the operation of any motor
vehicle on any highway, and to the operation and parking of any
vehicle on any property designated pursuant to this division as a
safe stopping place for the purpose of transporting any explosive in
any amount when the transportation is rendered as a delivery service
or for hire, or in any other event for the purpose of transporting
any explosive or a combined load of any explosive and ammonium
nitrate-fuel oil mixture (blasting agent) in an amount in excess of
1,000 pounds. The transportation of quantities of explosives of 1,000
pounds or less, or other than on a public highway, is governed by
Division 11 (commencing at Section 12000) of the Health and Safety
Code. Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, a license
required by Section 31602 may be used to transport quantities of less
than 1,000 pounds of explosives if all other requirements of this
division are met.
(b) It is the legislative intention in enacting this division and
with particular reference to requiring licenses for transportation of
explosives as set forth herein that such provisions shall apply
uniformly throughout the State of California and that such license to
be obtained from the Department of the California Highway Patrol, as
provided in Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 2500) of Division
2, shall be in lieu of any requirement for any license to be obtained
by any such owner from any local authority within the state.
(a) It is a misdemeanor for any owner of a vehicle to drive
or permit the driving of the vehicle on any public highway for the
purpose of transporting any explosive as defined herein and within
the scope of Section 31601 unless the owner then holds a valid
license for the transportation of explosives as provided in this
division, except such persons as are expressly exempted in this
(b) It is a misdemeanor for the owner, or authorized agent of the
owner, of any vehicle transporting explosives to drive, or to permit
the driving of the vehicle, or for the driver to drive such vehicle,
upon any public highway, not designated in regulations adopted by the
Department of the California Highway Patrol as a route for the
transportation of explosives, unless the use of the highway is
required to permit delivery of, or the loading of, explosives at a
point not on a highway designated as a route for the transportation
of explosives, or unless the use of the highway is required to permit
the vehicle to proceed to, and return from, a point designated as an
inspection stop pursuant to this division.
(c) It is a misdemeanor for the driver of any vehicle transporting
explosives to stop at any place not designated as a safe stopping
place unless the vehicle is disabled or except when necessary to
avoid conflict with other traffic or to comply with the orders of a
peace officer or an official traffic control device. A safe stopping
place is any location designated by the Department of the California
Highway Patrol where the driver may stop for food, fuel or other
necessary reasons and any location designated by the Department of
the California Highway Patrol as a safe parking place, a safe
stopping place, or as an inspection stop for purposes of this
(d) In the event the owner of a vehicle leases the same to be used
in the transportation of explosives for which a license is required,
the lessee shall be deemed the owner for the purposes of this
(a) Any person operating or permitting the operation of a
vehicle or combination of vehicles used in the transportation of
explosives and subject to this division shall make or cause to be
made an inspection of every said vehicle or combination of vehicles
as hereinafter set forth.
(b) Such inspection as called for in Section 31608 shall be made
immediately preceding the actual transportation of explosives by the
vehicle and whenever there is an interchange of any vehicle operating
in combination with any other vehicle in the transportation of
(c) Inspection of tires and brakes shall also be made en route at
suitable intervals, off the roadway, at inspection stops established
by the Department of the California Highway Patrol, at regular stops,
terminal points, or driver-change points.
The inspection of a vehicle required under subdivision (b)
of Section 31607 shall include inspection of the following:
(a) Brakes and the brake system.
(b) The ignition and lighting systems.
(c) All tires on the equipment.
(d) All supplemental equipment as required by Section 31610.
Every person operating a vehicle or combination of vehicles
in the transportation of explosives subject to this division shall
complete a record of every inspection which is required under
Sections 31607 and 31608 in such form as approved by the Department
of the California Highway Patrol showing the time and place of every
inspection. The person making the inspection shall certify the fact
in the record. The forms may be based upon the type used by the
United States Department of Transportation. The record of every
inspection shall be made at the time such inspection is conducted.
The driver of the vehicle shall display the record upon demand of
any member of the California Highway Patrol or any police officer of
a city who is on duty for the exclusive or main purpose of enforcing
the provisions of this code.
Every vehicle or combination of vehicles used in the
transportation of explosives and subject to this division, in
addition to any other equipment required by law, shall be equipped
and maintained as required by this section.
(a) Brakes and the brake system shall be maintained in good and
safe operating condition.
(b) The ignition and lighting systems shall be maintained in good
(c) All tires shall be in good condition, properly matched and
inflated. Except as may be necessary to cause immediate replacement,
no vehicle shall be driven unless all tires in actual use on the
vehicle are properly inflated.
(d) Fire extinguishers and other safety equipment prescribed by
regulations adopted by the department pursuant to subdivision (f) of
Section 34500 and Section 34501 shall be carried in each vehicle or
combination of vehicles.
(e) No flare, fusee, oil lantern, or any signal device producing a
flame shall be carried upon any vehicle or combination of vehicles.
Every owner of a vehicle used in the transportation of
explosives and subject to this division shall make available in each
vehicle the latest map showing the routes which are to be used for
the transportation of explosives which has been furnished for the
vehicle by the Department of the California Highway Patrol and a list
of the safe stopping places prescribed by the regulations of the
Department of the California Highway Patrol for vehicles transporting
explosives. The owner shall require that the driver be thoroughly
familiar with the provisions of this division before operating any
vehicle in the transportation of explosives.
Persons operating vehicles, or combinations of vehicles, in
the transportation of explosives and subject to this division, shall
not accept any explosives for transportation unless the shipment is
accompanied by a bill of lading or other shipping paper supplied by
the shipper, showing the kind of explosives and bearing a statement
that they have been packaged, labeled and marked in accordance with
regulations of the United States Department of Transportation, and
the bill of lading or other shipping paper shall be carried in the
vehicle while en route and shall be displayed upon demand of any
member of the California Highway Patrol or any police officer of a
city who is on duty for the exclusive or main purpose of enforcing
the provisions of this code.
There shall not be included in any cargo of explosives any
flammable liquids, acids, or corrosive liquids, oxidizers, or
combustible materials, other than the explosives themselves, which
may have such characteristics. Blasting caps or detonators shall not
be transported upon the same vehicle with other explosives, nor shall
electric blasting caps be transported upon any vehicle equipped with
a radio transmitter. The foregoing provisions of this section shall
be subject to such exceptions as are permitted by the United States
Department of Transportation loading chart for cargoes of explosives.
The following provisions shall apply to any vehicle
transporting explosives subject to this division:
(a) When transporting explosives through or into a city or any
other congested area for which a route has not been designated by the
Department of the California Highway Patrol, drivers shall follow
such routes as may be prescribed or established by local authorities.
(b) Where routes are not prescribed by local authority, every
driver of a vehicle transporting explosives shall avoid, so far as
practicable, and, where feasible, by prearrangement of routes,
driving into or through congested thoroughfares, places where crowds
are assembled, streetcar tracks, tunnels, viaducts, and dangerous
(c) No driver or other person in charge of any vehicle on any
public or private property shall permit any explosive to be loaded
into, or on, or to be unloaded from any motor vehicle with the engine
running, and, whenever any loading operation is in progress, the
parking brake on the motor vehicle shall be securely set and all
reasonable precautions taken to prevent movement of the motor vehicle
during loading or unloading.
(d) No driver or other person in charge of such vehicle shall
operate or permit the operation of any vehicle transporting
explosives unless all of that portion of the lading which consists of
explosives is contained entirely within the body of the motor
vehicle or within the horizontal outline thereof, without overhang or
projection of any part of the load, and if such motor vehicle has a
tailboard or tailgate it shall be closed and secured in place during
(e) Every motor vehicle transporting explosives shall have either
a closed body or have the explosive cargo covered with a fire- and
water-resistant tarpaulin, and in either event, care shall be taken
to protect the load from moisture and sparks. Subject to other
exceptions as are permitted by the United States Department of
Transportation regulations, explosives may be transported on flat-bed
vehicles if the explosive portion of the load on each vehicle is
packed in fire- and water-resistant containers or covered with a
fire- and water-resistant tarpaulin.
(f) No person shall operate any vehicle transporting explosives
past any fire of any kind burning on or near the highway until the
driver ascertains that such passing can be made with safety.
(g) No motor vehicle transporting explosives shall be left
unattended upon any street or highway except in extreme emergency.
The vehicle shall be deemed attended whenever a driver or person in
charge thereof is in or upon the vehicle or is in a position to
observe the vehicle at all times. The driver or person in charge of a
vehicle transporting explosives may, however, leave the vehicle
unattended at any place designated as a safe parking place on the
list of safe stopping places prepared by the Department of the
California Highway Patrol unless conditions exist, which are known to
the driver, which make it unreasonable to do so.
(h) No driver or other person shall smoke or light any match or
otherwise have or produce any fire or flame while in, upon, or near
any vehicle transporting explosives.
(i) No person shall transport any explosives in a passenger
vehicle, or bus, which is subject to this division.
Nothing contained in this division shall be deemed to exempt
any vehicle transporting explosives and subject to this division, or
the owner or any other person, from other provisions of this code,
but all such other provisions relating to the driving and movement of
vehicles, the size, weight, and equipment thereof, shall be deemed
to apply as applicable to each and every vehicle engaged in
transporting explosives subject to this division.
The Department of the California Highway Patrol, after
consultation with the officials having the responsibility for the
prevention and suppression of fire in communities through which
routes for the transporting of explosives pass, representatives of
transportation companies concerned, explosives manufacturers, and the
State Fire Marshal shall, by regulation, designate the routes in
this state which are to be used for the transportation of explosives.
The Department of the California Highway Patrol shall prepare for
distribution to persons engaged in the transportation of explosives,
maps which clearly indicate the routes, as established in
regulations, which are to be used for the transportation of
explosives. The Department of the California Highway Patrol shall
prepare for distribution to persons engaged in the transportation of
explosives a list of locations of required inspection stops, safe
parking places, and safe stopping places and shall revise the list to
keep it current. Notwithstanding any other provision of law,
regulations adopted pursuant to this section shall be adopted in
accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1
of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, except that, for
the purposes of subdivision (a) of Section 11346.4 of the Government
Code, the public comment period shall be 30 days, and the regulations
shall become effective upon filing with the Secretary of State.
Notwithstanding Section 11349.3 of the Government Code,
the review by the Office of Administrative Law of regulations adopted
pursuant to Section 31616 shall be completed within 15 days after
the regulations have been submitted to the Office of Administrative
Law for review.
In the event of an emergency, the Department of the
California Highway Patrol is authorized to suspend or change any
designated route for the transportation of explosives or to
temporarily designate new or additional routes for such
transportation. The Department of the California Highway Patrol
shall, unless the nature of the emergency makes it impracticable to
do so, consult with local fire officials in the area or areas
affected before making any such changes or new designations. If the
changes or new designations are made before they can be discussed
with those officials, the Department of the California Highway Patrol
shall immediately notify the appropriate officials of his action.
The change in or new designation of routes shall not be effective
for more than 90 days from the date of such action, unless the
Department of the California Highway Patrol determines that the
change or new designation should become permanent, in which case the
Department of the California Highway Patrol shall, within the 90-day
period, initiate action to make the change or new designation
permanent in accordance with the provisions of Section 31616 and in
which case the emergency change or designation shall remain in effect
until superseded by a regulation of the Department of the California
Where not specifically provided otherwise, it is a
misdemeanor for any person to violate any provision of this division.
Every person convicted of a misdemeanor for a violation of any of
the provisions of this division shall be punished as follows:
(a) For a first violation, by a fine of not less than one thousand
dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment for not more than six months,
or by both fine and imprisonment.
(b) For a second or subsequent violation, by a fine of not less
than two thousand dollars ($2,000) or by imprisonment for not more
than six months, or by both fine and imprisonment.
When not in conflict with any local ordinance pertaining to
the transportation of explosives, it shall be lawful to transport
smokeless powder in an amount not exceeding 100 pounds if packed in
containers prescribed by the United States Department of
Transportation upon a highway not designated by the Department of the
California Highway Patrol as a route for the transportation of
The Department of the California Highway Patrol, upon
application of any interested party, with the concurrence of the fire
chief or chiefs in the area or areas affected, and if he determines
that such action may be taken without jeopardizing the public safety,
may suspend, or waive compliance with, the whole or any part of the
requirements of this division insofar as they apply to the delivery
or transportation of explosives in sparsely populated, unincorporated
areas or in any area where there may be practical difficulties or
unnecessary or unreasonable hardship in carrying out the provisions
of this division. No person shall be charged with any crime for any
violation of the provisions of this division when such a suspension
or waiver by the Department of the California Highway Patrol is in
effect in the area in which the alleged violation occurs.