Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
8/16/2022

Part VI. Escort Vehicles and Equipment Requirements; Escort Vehicle Driver Certification; and General Escorting Guidelines

24VAC20-81-160. Escort vehicles and equipment requirements.

A. The escort vehicle shall be a truck not less than one-quarter ton-rated load capacity but not more than 17,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or a passenger vehicle of not less than 2,000 pounds gross weight. Escort vehicles shall not resemble nor be confused with law-enforcement or safety-assistance vehicles. Escort vehicles shall be in compliance with all state and local registration processes required by the state in which the vehicle is registered. Escort vehicles shall not be overdimensional or overweight while in use performing escorting duties. They are not permitted to pull a trailer of any kind while performing escorting duties and shall have an unobstructed view through the rear window.

B. All escort vehicles shall be equipped with a two-way radio communication system to maintain communications between the permitted vehicle driver and all escort vehicles in the group.

C. Front or lead escort vehicles are required to have a height pole/hot-pole when required by permit. While performing escorting duties the pole shall be extended at least three inches above the specified height of the vehicle configuration being escorted.

D. Escort vehicles headlamps shall be on at all times while escorting overdimensional/overweight movements.

E. All escort vehicles shall have at least one light, rotating or strobe, positioned on top of the escort vehicle. The light must be visible for a distance of at least 500 feet in all directions by approaching vehicles.

F. Paddles shall be at least 18 inches by 18 inches with six-inch high lettering. For greater visibility, a high-intensity flashing stop/slow paddle may be used.

G. All flags used for flagging purposes shall be red or any highly fluorescent color, not less than 18 inches square and in good condition. Flags shall be placed at the extremities of a vehicle load to identify overwidth or secured at the end of the load to identify overhang.

H. Individuals performing flagging activities shall wear a hard hat and a red or any highly visible fluorescent traffic vest or jacket of approved Type ANSI II or III.

I. Escort vehicles shall have signs, descriptive of the load being escorted, i.e., "Wide Load" or "Oversize Load" or "Overweight Load." At a minimum, the signs shall be displayed in black eight-inch high letters with a minimum of 1-1/4 inch brush strokes on a yellow banner. The banner shall be mounted on the front and rear bumper of the escort vehicle. If displayed on the roof of the escort vehicle other drivers must be able to read the signs when approaching or following the escort vehicle.

J. A minimum of one Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual Laboratories (FM) approved, five pounds or greater, Type "BC" or "ABC" fire extinguisher shall be carried in the escort vehicle or escort vehicles.

K. Reflective triangles or road flares shall be used to warn oncoming or approaching vehicles of a breakdown.

Statutory Authority

§ 46.2-203 and Article 18 (§ 46.2-1139 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of Title 46.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 26, eff. September 30, 2009.

24VAC20-81-170. Escort vehicle driver certification.

Certification as an escort vehicle driver is mandatory when escorting oversize loads.

Virginia residents who possess a valid Virginia driver's license shall obtain their certification through Virginia's Escort Vehicle Driver Certification Program. Non-Virginia residents may be certified through Virginia's Escort Vehicle Driver Certification Program or through a certification program from another state. Regardless of what state certifies the driver as an escort driver, certification is considered invalid if the driver's license is not valid.

Successful applicants shall carry the certification document with them while escorting vehicle configurations. Certification, along with a driver's license, must be presented when requested by any Department of Motor Vehicles, law enforcement or Department of Transportation officials when requested. Failure to have the certification in possession while escorting a permitted load will cause the movement to be delayed until proper escorts and credentials are in place.

Additional information concerning Escort Vehicle Driver Certification in Virginia can be requested by calling the Hauling Permit Section at (804) 497-7135.

Statutory Authority

§ 46.2-203 and Article 18 (§ 46.2-1139 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of Title 46.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 26, eff. September 30, 2009.

24VAC20-81-180. General escorting guidelines.

All escort vehicle operators are required to be certified prior to performing the duties of an oversize/overweight load escort vehicle operator in Virginia. General guidelines as to when escorts are required follows; this listing is not all inclusive:

1. One front and one rear escort is required on noninterstate routes when the permitted load exceeds 12 feet in width.

2. One rear escort is required on interstate routes when the permitted load exceeds 12 feet in width.

3. Two front and one rear escorts are required on noninterstate routes when the permitted load exceeds 14 feet in width.

4. One front and one rear escort is required on interstate routes when the permitted load exceeds 14 feet in width.

5. Two front and two rear escorts are required on noninterstate routes when the permitted load exceeds 16 feet in width.

6. One front and two rear escorts are required on interstate routes when the permitted load exceeds 16 feet in width.

7. One front escort is required when an off-centered load exceeds three feet six inches on the passenger side of the vehicle configuration.

8. One front escort and one rear escort is required when an off-centered load exceeds five feet on the passenger side of the vehicle configuration.

9. One front escort equipped with height pole, adjusted three inches above the load height, is required on all routes when the permitted load exceeds 14 feet five inches in height.

10. One rear escort is required on noninterstate routes when the permitted load exceeds 85 feet in length.

11. One rear escort is required on interstate routes when the permitted load exceeds 120 feet in length.

12. One front and one rear escort is required on all routes when the permitted load exceeds 150 feet in length.

13. One front escort is required on all routes when the permitted load has a front overhang that exceeds 10 feet (measured from the bumper).

14. One rear escort is required on all routes when the permitted load has a rear overhang that exceeds 15 feet (measured from the bumper).

15. Permit loads that exceed 18 feet wide or 200 feet long will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Escort requirements are subject to change with individual consideration of weight, width, length, height, geographical location, or route of travel as determined by the issuing agent.

Statutory Authority

§ 46.2-203 and Article 18 (§ 46.2-1139 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of Title 46.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 26, eff. September 30, 2009.

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