the set of legal precepts that regulate relationships involved in the use of communications routes and means of transportation.
The sphere of Soviet transportation law includes (1) the relationships of parties in contracts for conveyance of freight and passengers, (2) questions of the planning and organization of shipping and procedures for settlement of shipping accounts and collection of property penalties for violation of the corresponding plan and contract obligations, and (3) relationships in the use of means of transportation for purposes not related to a shipping contract, such as fishing, extraction of mineral products, towing, ice-breaking, and rescue work. Transportation law also includes relationships in the use of pipelines, although the delivery of gas, petroleum, and so on is controlled by special supply contracts rather than by shipping contracts. The subjects of the relationships governed by transportation law are shippers (railroads, maritime and river steamship lines, and air and motor-vehicle transportation enterprises), other administrative and economic transportation subdivisions (stations, ports, and docks), clients (senders and recipients of freight and mail; passengers), and transportation management bodies (ministries and administrations).
The norms of transportation law are contained in the Basic Principles of Civil Legislation of 1961, the civil codes of the Union republics, and transportation regulations such as the Rules of Railroads of the USSR, the Rules of Transportation on Inland Waterways of the USSR, and the Rules of Automotive Transportation of the RSFSR. They are also found in special codes, such as the Merchant Shipping Code of the USSR and the Air Code of the USSR, and in shipping rules, rate books, technical specifications, statutes, and other normative acts.