Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/14/2003 09:35 AM Senate TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
          HB 280-COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES:REGULATIONS                                                                      
AVES THOMPSON, Director of the  Division of Measurement Standards                                                               
&   Commercial  Vehicle   Enforcement   in   the  Department   of                                                               
Transportation & Public Facilities  (DOTPF), said his division is                                                               
responsible  for:  commercial  vehicle size,  weight  and  safety                                                               
enforcement;  and commercial  vehicle operating  credentials; and                                                               
for enforcing and maintaining standards  for weights and measures                                                               
used in  commerce in Alaska.  The key elements of  the commercial                                                               
vehicle  safety  program include  the  fixed  weight station  and                                                               
mobile commercial vehicle enforcement.                                                                                          
Commercial  vehicle enforcement  officers conduct  driver vehicle                                                               
safety  inspections,  enforce  size and  weight  regulations  and                                                               
inspect hazardous materials that are transported.                                                                               
Beginning in FY  1998, the division was consolidated  to DOTPF to                                                               
provide  more   convenient  and  efficient   program  management.                                                               
Although   largely  successful,   the  authority   to  promulgate                                                               
regulation for  driver vehicle safety requirements  and hazardous                                                               
materials  transport wasn't  transferred at  that time  and still                                                               
resides  in the  Department of  Public Safety.  HB 280  transfers                                                               
that authority to DOTPF and completes the consolidation.                                                                        
Except for  matters that  relate to  drivers of  commercial motor                                                               
vehicles,  the  bill gives  the  authority  to adopt  regulations                                                               
necessary  to  avoid  withholding  of federal  highway  money  to                                                               
DOTPF.  The  regulations  address  equipment  standards,  working                                                               
conditions  for drivers  and  vehicle  inspection standards.  The                                                               
hazardous    materials    transport   regulations    deal    with                                                               
notification, movement, labeling and documentation of the same.                                                                 
HB 280  also sets  a prohibition  against operating  a commercial                                                               
motor  vehicle  after  it  is  placed  out  of  service  under  a                                                               
regulation  adopted under  Title 19.  Other sections  provide for                                                               
changes to  the bill schedule  and allow for a  transition period                                                               
for   the  existing   regulation  to   continue  until   the  new                                                               
regulations are adopted.                                                                                                        
Federal  motor vehicle  safety regulations  provide that  a state                                                               
becomes  ineligible  for program  or  incentive  funds under  the                                                               
Motor  Carrier  Assistance  Program  for  failure  to  adopt  new                                                               
regulation or  amendment to the federal  regulations within three                                                               
years  of the  effective  date. Adoption  of  the changes  hasn't                                                               
occurred since  1995 and the  state is  out of compliance.  In FY                                                               
03, Alaska will  receive more than $685,000 in  basic program and                                                               
incentive program  receipts. Passage  of HB  280 is  important so                                                               
DOTPF has  the authority to  adopt the regulations and  avoid the                                                               
loss of future federal funding.                                                                                                 
CHAIR COWDERY  commented the  bill is important.  He asked  for a                                                               
SENATOR THERRIAULT  motioned to  move CSHB 280(FIN)  and attached                                                               
zero fiscal note from  committee with individual recommendations.                                                               
There being no objection, it was so ordered.                                                                                    

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