Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

03/01/2018 01:30 PM Senate TRANSPORTATION

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Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
         SB 163-DEFINITION OF COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES                                                                     
1:31:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN announced the consideration of SB 163.                                                                            
1:32:33 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN BINDER, Deputy Commissioner, Alaska Department of                                                                          
Transportation and Public Facilities, Anchorage, Alaska,                                                                        
provided an introduction of SB 163 as follows:                                                                                  
     SB  163  proposes  to  bring   Alaska's  definitions  of                                                                   
     "commercial  motor  vehicle"   into  the  21st  century.                                                                   
     Senate Bill  163 proposed  changes will benefit  farmers                                                                   
     who transport  agricultural  commodities or supplies  in                                                                   
     Alaska  because existing restrictions  on farm  vehicles                                                                   
     limit their  movement to within  150 miles of  the farm.                                                                   
     SB  163  will  allow  farmers  to  operate  anywhere  in                                                                   
     Alaska.  The  Moving  Ahead  for Progress  in  the  21st                                                                   
     Century  Act (MAP-21),  made the  federal regulation  of                                                                   
     farmers  less  restrictive  than  our  current  existing                                                                   
     language  in Alaska  statute. SB 163  also proposes  the                                                                   
     transportation   of   hazardous  materials   should   be                                                                   
     amended to only  apply to quantities of  substances that                                                                   
     require  a  placard  regardless   of  the  size  of  the                                                                   
     vehicle.  Finally,  the definition  of  "school bus"  is                                                                   
     updated  to provide  clarity for when  school buses  are                                                                   
     exempt from commercial motor vehicle requirements.                                                                         
1:32:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR EGAN joined the committee meeting.                                                                                      
1:33:56 PM                                                                                                                    
DAN  SMITH,  Director,  Division   of  Measurement  Standards  and                                                              
Commercial    Vehicle    Enforcement,   Alaska    Department    of                                                              
Transportation and  Public Facilities, Juneau, Alaska,  provided a                                                              
sectional overview of SB 163 as follows:                                                                                        
     Section 1                                                                                                              
     AS 19.10.300,  the area that  we intended to  change was                                                                   
     in  AS 19.10.399  which is  "definitions." AS  19.10.300                                                                   
     is  financial responsibility,  but  since  we are  using                                                                   
     this wording  later on in the  bill, this was  to mirror                                                                   
     those changes that you will be seeing later.                                                                               
     Page 2, line 4                                                                                                         
     When we start  talking about "covered farm  vehicles" is                                                                   
     really  the  meat  of this  bill.  Presently,  a  farmer                                                                   
     using  a farm  vehicle away  from their  farm after  150                                                                   
     miles  from that farm  they are  then treated as  though                                                                   
     they are  a motor  carrier, meaning  they would have  to                                                                   
     meet all of  the requirements of a carrier,  having like                                                                   
     a DOST  number markings on  their vehicle, that  sort of                                                                   
     thing;  this   change  would   allow  them  to   operate                                                                   
     anywhere in the state.                                                                                                     
     Page 2, line 29                                                                                                        
     When  we  get  to "placard,"  there  are  times  when  a                                                                   
     commercial  vehicle may be  hauling a substance  that is                                                                   
     deemed a hazardous  material but it's not  in a quantity                                                                   
     that requires  a placard.  If I owned  an air taxi,  for                                                                   
     instance,  I  went  and  picked  up  a  55-gallon  drum,                                                                   
     that's  not  an  amount  of gas  that  would  require  a                                                                   
     placard,  so sometimes  that  situation  arises, and  we                                                                   
     just  wanted  to  be  really   clear  when  somebody  is                                                                   
     operating a  vehicle as a  commercial vehicle  that then                                                                   
     would be requiring a placard.                                                                                              
     "School buses" and "school bus operations"                                                                             
     Presently,  in AS 19.10.399  it says, "School  buses are                                                                   
     not  commercial vehicles,"  so  we wanted  to make  this                                                                   
     change to clarify  that school buses when  they are used                                                                   
     for  transporting school  children from  home to  school                                                                   
     or school  to home,  that is  school bus operations  and                                                                   
     they  are exempt from  the requirements.  So, right  now                                                                   
     it  is   too  broad,   and  it   is  not  a   compatible                                                                   
     definition, we  say "all school buses." If  a school bus                                                                   
     in  the  summer  is  picking up  down  here  and  taking                                                                   
     passengers  from  a  cruise  ship out  to  the  glacier,                                                                   
     that's a  motor carrier of  passengers at that  time and                                                                   
     they  would  be regulated  as  such, they  already  know                                                                   
     that because  that's how  we've regulating them  because                                                                   
     most  of them  are in  interstate  commerce already  and                                                                   
     therefore are falling under a more restrictive rule.                                                                       
1:36:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MACKINNON  asked what the current  commercial requirements                                                              
are for school bus drivers or for school buses.                                                                                 
MR. SMITH replied as follows:                                                                                                   
     For  those   exempt  operations  I  can't   answer  that                                                                   
     question  because   DOT&PF  doesn't  regulate   them,  I                                                                   
     believe   that's  Early   Education   that  sets   those                                                                   
     requirements  for school buses  when they are  operating                                                                   
     as  a  "school  bus;"  once they  are  outside  of  that                                                                   
     definition,   absolutely,    I   can   tell    you   the                                                                   
     requirements for a motor carrier of passengers.                                                                            
SENATOR MACKINNON  explained that  her intent  was to find  out if                                                              
there  were  any  unintended  consequences   from  the  change  in                                                              
definition  that  will  affect  schools  and  the  safety  of  the                                                              
children that are being transported.                                                                                            
1:37:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WILSON joined the committee meeting.                                                                                    
MR.   SMITH  replied   that  he   did  know   of  any   unintended                                                              
consequences. He  explained that for the  most part, a  lot of the                                                              
school bus  transport is  being conducted  by government  agencies                                                              
who  are  already exempt.  He  said  for  those carriers  that  do                                                              
school  bus  operations  and  then  would  have  operations  as  a                                                              
commercial    carrier,   they    abide    by   stringent    driver                                                              
qualifications and vehicle requirements.                                                                                        
SENATOR  BISHOP asked  if  the exemption  for  farmers to  operate                                                              
anywhere  in  the   state  without  a  CDL   [commercial  drivers                                                               
license] was federal law.                                                                                                       
MR.  SMITH replied  that is  correct; it  is the  49 CFR.  [United                                                              
State Code of Federal Regulation (CFR)]                                                                                         
SENATOR BISHOP disclosed  that he had considered  adding minors to                                                              
the exemption, but  a federal exemption was required.  He asked if                                                              
the bill  gets around that requirement  because 49 CFR  allows the                                                              
exemption for agriculture.                                                                                                      
MR. SMITH answered yes.                                                                                                         
1:39:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MACKINNON  addressed her  concerns regarding  farm vehicle                                                              
safety as follows:                                                                                                              
     My only  question is  regarding safety  and whether  the                                                                   
     roads  will be  safe  with these  types  of vehicles  on                                                                   
     them without  the same certification as  a "commercial."                                                                   
     I   understand  the   economic   disadvantage  for   the                                                                   
     farmers, agriculture  is a tough  business to be  in and                                                                   
     moving  your  goods  to market  is  difficult,  but  the                                                                   
     vehicles and  the safety of  those vehicles is  still of                                                                   
     concern to  all of us.  Can you speak  to the safety  of                                                                   
     farm vehicles  on a road? I understand it  is allowed on                                                                   
     a national  level, but Alaska  faces some severe  winter                                                                   
     conditions  and  others  that  require  us  to  look  at                                                                   
     everything in a unique way.                                                                                                
MR.  SMITH replied  that there  will  be no  measurable effect  on                                                              
SENATOR  BISHOP asked  him to  address  safety regarding  18-wheel                                                              
farm  vehicles and  inquired if  the  vehicle is  exempt from  DOT                                                              
MR. SMITH  answered that a farm  vehicle would meet  the exception                                                              
for a  covered farm  vehicle or  existing farm vehicle  exception.                                                              
He added that an  exemption would also apply to [49  CFR Part 391]                                                              
for the medical and [49 CFR Part 383] for driver qualifications.                                                                
SENATOR  BISHOP   addressed  air   brakes  and  inquired   if  the                                                              
tolerances are  the same  for farmers as  they are for  commercial                                                              
MR. SMITH answered yes.                                                                                                         
1:41:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STEDMAN opened public testimony.                                                                                        
1:41:59 PM                                                                                                                    
AVES THOMPSON,  Executive Director,  Alaska Trucking  Association,                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska,  testified in support  of SB 163.  He specified                                                              
that any  effort to clarify the  statutes makes it easier  for the                                                              
trucking industry  to comply.  He said SB  163 reduces  the burden                                                              
on   farmers  and   farm  vehicles   by   removing  the   150-mile                                                              
restriction  on   farms  transporting  their  own   "covered  farm                                                              
vehicles"  in the conduct  of their  business  and allows  them to                                                              
operate statewide.  He noted  that if  a choice  is made  to enter                                                              
the  "for hire  world,"  compliance  with the  commercial  vehicle                                                              
rules  and regulations  will be  required.  He added  that SB  163                                                              
provides  certainty for motor  carriers of  passengers by  clearly                                                              
identifying  school  bus  operations.  He  specified  that  school                                                              
buses  are   not  considered   commercial  motor  vehicles   while                                                              
conducting  "school  bus operations."  He  added  that school  bus                                                              
operators  that choose  to engage  in "for  hire" transport  other                                                              
than  school  bus  operations  would  also  have  to  comply  with                                                              
commercial  vehicle rules  and regulations.  He  detailed that  SB
163  also   provides  clarification   for  carriers   transporting                                                              
hazardous materials in amounts that require a placard.                                                                          
1:44:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN closed public testimony.                                                                                          
1:44:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN held SB 163 in committee.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 204 Version J 4.19.17.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB 204 Senate Transportation Committee Memo.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB 204 Minor Offences Table.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB 204 Explanation of Changes.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB 204 DOT Work Zone Safety Week PR.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB 204 CS (JUD) Sponsor Statement.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB 204 Citation Statistics.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB 204 AAA Support Letter.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB 204 NWZAW Poster.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB 204 - FN DPS.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB 204 - FN DOA.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 204
HB 82 ver J.A 2.26.18.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 82
HB 82 Supporting Documents - Powerpoint 4.11.2017.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 82
HB 82 Summary of Changes.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 82
HB 82 Sponsor Statement 4.11.2017.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 82
HB 82 Sectional Analysis.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 82
HB 82 Letters of Support 2.15.18.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 82
HB 82 - FN DOA.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 82
SB163 Fiscal Note DOT-MSCVE 1.29.18.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 163
SB163 Hearing Request 1.29.18.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 163
SB163 ver A 1.29.18.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 163
SB163 Sponsor Statement 1.29.18.pdf STRA 3/1/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 163