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H. P. WELCH CO. V. NEW HAMPSHIRE, 306 U. S. 79 (1939)

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U.S. Supreme Court

H. P. Welch Co. v. New Hampshire, 306 U.S. 79 (1939)

H. P. Welch Co. v. New Hampshire

No. 295

Argued January 3, 1939

Decided January 30, 1939

306 U.S. 79


A statute of New Hampshire forbids the owner of any motor vehicle used on the highways of the State in the transportation of property for hire to require or permit to operate such vehicle a driver who has been continuously on duty for more than 12 hours. Registration certificates, without which no common or contract carrier may lawfully operate over the highways of the State, may be suspended or revoked for violations. The statute exempts: those transporting products of their own manufacture or labor; motor vehicles not principally engaged in the transportation of property for hire, and carriers operating exclusively in a city or town or within 10 miles thereof, or beyond the 10-mile limit on not more than two trips in 30 days.


1. As applied to a carrier which was not exempt, the statute was not by reason of its exemptions repugnant to the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 306 U. S. 82. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 306 U. S. 80

2. Enforcement of the statute against an interstate motor carrier for violations committed subsequently to the passage of the federal Motor Carrier Act, 1935, but prior to the effective date (and the date of issue) of an order of the Interstate Commerce Commission pursuant thereto prescribing maximum hours of service of employees of such carriers was valid. P. 306 U. S. 83.

3. Congress will not be deemed to have intended that state regulatory measures relating to safety on the highways should be superseded prior to the effective date of similar federal regulation. P. 306 U. S. 85.

89 N.H. 428, 199 A. 886, affirmed.

Appeal from a judgment dismissing an appeal from an order of the Public Service Commission of New Hampshire suspending the registration certificates of a motor carrier for violation of the state law.

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