Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced that it is enforcing a requirement prohibiting motor carriers from placing extraneous information, such as "Drive Carefully" signs, on placards. According to the DOT, these placards are to be used only for hazardous materials information.

The action enforces a requirement of the DOT's Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) that prohibits any sign, advertisement, slogan or device that could cause a distraction or be confused with an official hazardous waste sign.

The prohibition, which went into effect Oct. 1, 2001, includes a fine of at least $250 and no more than $27,500 per violation, and possible additional enforcement by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

For more information on the prohibition, visit http://hazmat.dot.gov/rules/hm206.htm.