ESCORT REQUIREMENTS FOR OVERSIZE AND/OR
OVERWEIGHT VEHICLES OR LOADS
The Department of Transportation and Development is authorized to administer this policy and to enforce its provisions, including the issuance of the necessary permits and decals for properly equipped escort vehicles.
Escort vehicles may be furnished by the permittee or by a private escort service, provided the following regulations are complied with:
1. GENERAL PROVISIONS:
a. An oversize and/or overweight permit is required for each escort movement. The driver of the escort vehicle shall make certain that a permit has been issued and shall familiarize themselves with and abide by requirements of the issued permit. The Department of Transportation and Development has authority to require and to regulate escorts under the provisions of R.S. 32:327, Paragraph C, and R.S. 32:387, Paragraph B(3).
b. The escorting vehicle shall be registered in accordance with Louisiana Revised Statutes or Reciprocal Agreement. Closed vans, buses, campers, motor homes, and motor driven cycles are not acceptable. Louisiana based automobiles used as escort vehicles are no longer considered private passenger vehicles and therefore must carry commercial plates. If the escort vehicle is domiciled outside the State of Louisiana, a 48-HOUR TRIP PERMIT is required for intrastate movements, otherwise escorting is limited to interstate movement only.
c. At no time may an escort vehicle pull a trailer, tow another vehicle, or carry a load that causes it to be oversize or overweight.
d. Each company which operates an escort service in this state and which is domiciled in another state shall register annually with the Secretary in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the Secretary. Proof is required that each vehicle operated in this state by the applicant is insured in the same amount as is required for escort companies domiciled in this state. Each driver of an escort vehicle must have a valid operator’s license issued by a state or territory of the U.S. The fee for each application for registration is $10.00. a 48-HOUR TRIP PERMIT is required for intrastate movements, otherwise escorting is limited to interstate movement only.
e. All Statutory provisions must be complied with; except those waived by the permit or “Escorting Procedures” stipulated herein.
f. All applicants for escort vehicles shall provide proof to the Department of Transportation and Development Weights and Standards Officer of insurance for not less than $50,000.00 for bodily injury to or death of one (1) person in any one (1) accident, $100,000.00 for bodily injury or death of two (2) or more persons in any one (1) accident, and $50,000.00 for injury to or destruction of property to others in any one (1) accident. Applicant shall sign an affidavit that said coverage of insurance will remain effective for the duration of the permits.
g. An escort driver, domiciled in Louisiana, must be licensed with an appropriate “D” or “E” license.
h. The driver of the escort vehicle must be able to read and understand this directive.
i. The driver of the escorting vehicle is responsible for the movement and shall ensure that the escorted vehicle is operated in a manner consistent with these provisions and all provisions on the permit. In the event the driver of the escorted vehicle does not, or refuses to operate in accordance with these stipulations, the driver of the escort vehicle shall terminate the movement and report this action to the proper company officials or local police authority or the Department of Transportation and Development Weights and Standards Police Headquarters in Baton Rouge (225) 377-7100.
j. It shall be the responsibility of the driver of the escort vehicle to operate as a warning vehicle only. The driver shall not run traffic lights, fail to stop at stop signs, improperly pass, etc. His authorization to warn motorists of danger shall not imply the vehicle is or should be used as a police and/or emergency vehicle.
k. Escorts and flagmen (when flagmen are required) engaged in escorting loads on the highways of the State of Louisiana shall present a neat appearance and shall be courteous in their contact with the motoring public at all times.
l. All costs incidental to escorts, such as telephone calls, telegrams, etc. shall be borne by the escorter or permittee.
m. The equipment and permit required on escort vehicles shall be available for inspection on demand of proper authorities.
n. Payment for escort service shall be determined by the escorter and the permittee.
o. Self or private escorts shall not escort any movement in excess of 16 feet wide on two (2)-lane highways or multilane highways. Escorts must be furnished for all movements in excess of 12 feet in width or in excess of 90 feet in length and for any other movement when so designated by the Department of Transportation and Development or the Office of State Police.
p. No current full time employee of the Department of Transportation and Development shall be used for or engage in self or private escort service. Under the existing policy of the Department of Public Safety, Office of State Police, an off-duty trooper working in uniform may serve as escort for movements of oversize and/or overweight loads.
q. In the event a State Police escort is required, the permittee shall pay the escort fee, or any portion thereof, in addition to the overtime pay of the off-duty trooper.
r. Escorts of house movements, overweight loads when required by the Department of Transportation and Development, and other loads needing police authority during movement, shall be escorted by the Office of State Police, unless made within a city’s limits where the authority may be the City Police.
s. The owner and/or operator of the escort vehicle agrees to hold harmless the Department of Transportation and Development and its duly appointed agents and employees against any action for personal injury or property damage sustained by reason of the authority to escort an oversize load.
t. The Department of Transportation and Development Weights and Standards Police or the Office of State Police, will determine that proper escort procedures are complied with and shall have full authority to enforce all provisions of the permits and escort regulations. The authority to revoke the “ESCORT VEHICLE PERMIT” shall rest with the Department of Transportation and Development.
2. EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
a. In accordance with the requirement of R.S. 32:387, the escort vehicle shall display an approved 360 degree “Emergency Warning Lamp”. Approval is gained from a list of certified safety devices furnished to the Department of Transportation and Development by the Department of Public Safety. This partial list includes bar, strobe, revolving, and stationary lamps.
3. ESCORTING PROCEDURES
The warning lamp shall be amber in color and shall meet SAE J845 and SAE J595 “Standard and Specifications for Use and Performance”, however, a dome type lamp must have a lens (amber portion) of not less than 9 inches in diameter and 4 inches in vertical height to meet “ESCORT VEHICLE PERMIT’ equipment requirements for the State of Louisiana.
b. There shall be two (2) solid red /fluorescent orange flags, 18 inches square, mounted other that vertical or horizontal atop the escort vehicle (at approximately a 45 degree angle). These flags are not to extend more than 6 inches on either side of the vehicle and shall in no event exceed 8 feet 0 inches in width. Flags shall be mounted in line with the warning lamp(s).
c. The escort vehicle must have the name and address or telephone number and city of the company/owner of the escort vehicle on each front door of the vehicle, plainly legible and visible to the motoring public. Well known company logos are acceptable.
d. The escorting vehicle shall be equipped with two (2) rear view mirrors, one (1) on each side, so as to provide vision to the rear to ensure movement is progressing safely.
e. Headlights and rear lights on the escort vehicle and the vehicle being escorted shall be lighted during movement.
f. The escort and towing vehicle shall be equipped with radios such that communication between vehicles is possible. The escort vehicle will be responsible for advising the towing vehicle of any conditions arising that may require cautionary action such as reducing speed, pulling off the roadway, etc.
g. The escorting vehicle shall be equipped and have readily accessible a 10 pound BC dry or equivalent chemical type fire extinguisher, four (4) 15- minute burning flares and two (2) red/fluorescent orange hand held flags.
In addition, the vehicle must have available four (4) red/fluorescent orange flags that are 18 inches square and two (2) signs with the wording “OVERSIZE LOAD”. These signs must be 18 inches high and 7 feet in length. The lettering must be black on a yellow background and is to be 10 inches high with 1 ½ inch brush stroke.
h. For all overheight loads it is strongly recommended that a clearance bar of some design be
attached to the escort vehicle to warn of clearance problems of the load being escorted.
a. Speed limit for the escort load is determined by the issuing authority, and in any event shall not exceed 45 mph.
b. Movement shall be made on only those highways designated on the permit. Alternate routes shall not be used unless approved by the issuing authority.
c. Restricted permit movement hours must be adhered to on specifically designated sections of the Interstate System and the Greater New Orleans area bridges.
d. Movement shall be made only on dates and/or during times shown on the permit. No movement shall be made during hours of darkness unless prior approval is obtained from the issuing authority and the Office of State Police.
e. An escorted movement approaching any bridge structure which cannot be traversed safely because of inability to distinguish potential hazards by sight shall be parked (off the roadway where possible) and the escort vehicle shall proceed across said bridge (hill or incline). Adequate time shall be allotted to allow the escort vehicle to stop oncoming traffic before the oversize movement traverses said bridge, hill, or incline.
f. Escorted movements will not impede the normal flow of traffic whenever possible. Whenever vehicular traffic to the rear becomes congested, it is required that the escort driver cause the movement to be halted onto the shoulder or safe location. The movement shall remain off the main traveled portion of the roadway until traffic has cleared. Movement may then continue until congestion reoccurs.
g. Movement shall not be made during severe inclement weather (heavy rain, fog, etc.). When the movement is in progress and severe inclement weather occurs, it shall be the responsibility of the escort driver to have the oversize load removed from the traveled portion of the highway to a safe location.
h. The operator of the escort vehicle will ensure that the oversize movement is not allowed to park on the main-traveled portion of the highway unless absolutely necessary or in case of extreme emergency. Anytime the combination is parked on the highway right-of-way, it shall be adequately protected by flares, flags, flagmen, etc.
i. The escort vehicle shall travel to the rear of the overwidth movement on multi-lane highways and in front of the escorted load on two (2)-lane highways. The escort must be behind over-length vehicles and loads. All escort vehicles must cross the Department of Transportation and Development’s Stationary Scales along with the escorted load.
j. The oversized load shall travel as near to the right side of the roadway as is safely possible to insure that traffic will be able to pass safely. The escort and escorted load shall not infringe upon the opposite bound lane whenever possible.
k. A single escort may be used to escort one (1) or two (2) loads that are only overlength in one (1) movement.
l. An escort will be required for each overwidth load exceeding 12 feet in width.
m. The number of escort vehicles needed for overweight escort loads and “critical off-road equipment” will be stipulated by the Department of Transportation and Development in their authorization to move the load, as well as any additional restrictions.
n. The escort vehicle shall maintain a sufficient distance from the movement to warn oncoming traffic of the potential danger, but not so far as to hinder control over the movement.
o. Violators of these provisions or requirements shall be subject to all penalties provided by law and may have any and all escort permits revoked.
CHECKLIST FOR EQUIPMENT
REQUIRED FOR “LOUISIANA APPROVED ESCORT VEHICLE”
Before any escort vehicle permit can be issued, the following requirements must be met.
1. License: Proper Truck Tag: Commercial Registration on all Louisiana domiciled
2. PROOF OF INSURANCE WITH POLICY NUMBER: Liability - $100,000.00; Property
automobiles; Reciprocal Agreement on all others
Damage - $50,000.00.
3. CLASS “D” OR “E” OPERATOR’S LICENSE (Louisiana residents only) (Department of
Public Safety requirement)
4. LIGHTS – Amber in color
Dome- 360 degree visibility
Lens – 9 inches in diameter, 4 inch vertical clearance (8 inch x 5 inch acceptable)
Base (lens) of all lights must be 60 inches from roadway
Bar Lights & Strobe Lights acceptable (360 degree)
All lights front and rear must be operable (on when escorting)
5. 2-18 inch square red/fluorescent orange flags, 40-70 degree angle, atop vehicle on
6. DOOR SIGNS: Name and complete address or name, city, state, and telephone
mast – not over 6 inch overhang of vehicle or exceed 8 feet in width – must be in line
number; well known Company Logo acceptable, (permanent or semi-permanent)
7. TWO (2) REAR VIEW SIDE MIRRORS (Both Sides)
8. RADIO COMMUNICATION WITH LOAD
9. 10 pound Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher or equivalent
10. 4 – Red/fluorescent orange 18 inch square flags
3 or more – 15 minute burning flares (Hazard Makers may be substituted)
2 – Red/fluorescent orange hand held flags
11. INFORMATION SIGN, in addition to the above requirements, is acceptable
2- Oversize Load Signs, 18 inches x 7 feet, with Black lettering on Yellow background –
lettering to be 10 inches x 1 ½ inch, must read “oversize load” (these are available
for the load–not required to be mounted on the escort vehicle)
1. Closed vans (stepside), buses, campers, motor homes, and motor driven cycles are not acceptable as escort vehicles.
2. A vehicle that has all of the above listed equipment (in proper working order) may escort until which time it crosses a Stationary Scale. At that time the escort will be inspected and issued the permit and decal without being assessed a penalty.
3. At no time may the escort vehicle pull a trailer or tow another vehicle.