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AB-1099 Vehicles: motor carriers: inspection of terminals program.(2011-2012)

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AB1099:v94#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 10, 2012
Amended  IN  Senate  April 18, 2012
Amended  IN  Senate  July 12, 2011
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 06, 2011
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 21, 2011

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1099


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal

February 18, 2011


An act to amend Sections 7235 and 7236 of the Revenue and Taxation Code, and to amend Sections 34501.12, 34505.6, 34515, 34601, 34622, 34623, and 40000.22 of, and to repeal Sections 34505.5 and 34606 of, the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1099, as amended, Bonnie Lowenthal. Vehicles: motor carriers: inspection of terminals program.
Existing law establishes the Biennial Inspection of Terminals Program (BIT) to ensure the safe operation of certain vehicles by a motor carrier through the inspection of these vehicles at the motor carrier’s terminal by the Department of the California Highway Patrol. Existing law defines a motor carrier, for this purpose, as the registered owner of, and in some cases the lessee or person exclusively authorizing and directing the operation of, specified vehicles. Existing law requires, within 30 days of establishing a terminal, a motor carrier to schedule an inspection by submitting to the department an application for a terminal inspection accompanied by the payment of a fee the amount of which is based on the number of vehicles in a terminal or the “terminal fleet size.” Existing law requires the department to inspect every terminal at least once every 25 months and defines a terminal as the location or locations designated by the motor carrier where subject vehicles and specific records are available for inspection.
This bill would revise and recast these provisions as the Basic Inspection of Terminals (BIT) program. The bill would define motor carrier for this purpose as the registered owner, lessee, licensee, or bailee of specified vehicles. The bill would make it unlawful to operate a new terminal unless an inspection is conducted within the first 18 months of operation. The bill would instead authorize the department to conduct terminal inspections at any time. The bill would require the department, on or before January 1, 2014 2015, to implement a performance-based truck terminal inspection priority system similar to that used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that would require the department to place an inspection priority on motor carrier terminals never previously inspected by the department. Nonpriority terminals would not be required to be inspected less than 4 years since their last inspection.
The bill would require a motor carrier to make vehicles and records available for inspection upon request by the department and to pay a carrier inspection fee, the amount to be based on the size of the motor carrier’s fleet. The bill would impose a penalty for failure to pay the fee. The bill would make other technical and conforming changes to the BIT program.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 7235 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read:

7235.
 The Safety Fee and Carrier Inspection Fee imposed by this chapter shall be paid by all motor carriers of property, as defined in Section 34601 of the Vehicle Code.

SEC. 2.

 Section 7236 of the Revenue and Taxation Code is amended to read:

7236.
 (a) Uniform business license tax fee payments collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to Section 7232 shall be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the General Fund. All other funds collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to Section 7232 shall be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the Motor Vehicle Account in the State Transportation Fund. The following fees shall be paid to the department:
(1) For-hire motor carriers of property shall pay, according to the schedule in subdivision (c), fees indicated as the safety fee, carrier inspection fee, and uniform business license tax fee, based on the size of their motor vehicle fleet.
(2) (A) Private carriers of property with a fleet size of 10 or less motor vehicles shall pay a safety fee of thirty-five dollars ($35). Private carriers of property with a fleet size of 11 or more motor vehicles shall pay, according to the schedule in subdivision (c), fees indicated as the safety fee, based on the size of their motor vehicle fleet. Any carrier that does not pay a uniform business license tax fee shall not operate as a for-hire motor carrier.
(B) Private carriers of property shall pay, according to the schedule of fees in subdivision (c), fees indicated as the carrier inspection fee based on the size of the motor vehicle fleet.
(b) “Fleet size” as used in this section, does not include vehicles described in subdivision (e) of Section 34500.
(c) (1) A seasonal permit may be issued to a motor carrier of property upon payment of fees indicated as the safety fee and one-twelfth of the fee indicated as the uniform business license tax fee, rounded to the next dollar, for each month the permit is valid. The original seasonal permit shall be valid for a period of not less than six months, and may be renewed upon payment of a five-dollar ($5) fee, and one-twelfth of the fee indicated as a uniform business license tax fee for each additional month of operation.
Fleet Size—Commercial
Motor Vehicles Fee
Safety Fee
 
Uniform
Business
License Tax
Carrier
Inspection
Fee
 1 
 $60
 
 $60
 $130
2–4
 75
 
 125
 152
5–10 
 200
 
 275
 252
 11–20 
 240
 
 470
 573
 21–35 
 325
 
 650
 743
36–50
 430
 
 880
 961
 51–100
 535
 
 1,075
 1,112
101–200
 635
 
 1,300
 1,463
201–500 
 730
 
 1,510
 1,512
 501–1,000
 830
 
 1,715
 1,600
1,001–2,000
 930
 
 1,900
 1,800
2,001–over 
 1,030
 
 2,000
 2,114
(2) Notwithstanding the fee schedule in paragraph (1), except for the carrier inspection fee, motor carriers of property with 10 or fewer trucks shall not pay fees higher than they would have paid under the fee structure in place as of January 1, 1996. Notwithstanding Section 34606 of the Vehicle Code, fees for these carriers shall not be subject to an increase by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
(d) Failure to pay a fee required by this section, within the appropriate timeframe, shall result in additional delinquent fees as follows:
(1) For a delinquency period of more than 30 days, the penalty is 60 percent of the required fee.
(2) For a delinquency period of one to two years, the penalty is 80 percent of the required fee.
(3) For a delinquency period of more than two years, the penalty is 160 percent of the required fee.
(e) Funds derived from safety fees shall remain in the Motor Vehicle Account in the State Transportation Fund and shall be available for appropriation by the Legislature to cover costs incurred by the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of the California Highway Patrol in regulating and inspecting motor carriers of property pursuant to Division 14.8 (commencing with Section 34500) and Division 14.85 (commencing with Section 34600) of the Vehicle Code.
(f) It is the intent of the Legislature that the fee schedule established in subdivision (c) shall not discriminate against small fleet or individual vehicle operators or result in a disproportionate share of those fees being assigned to small fleet or individual vehicle operators.

SEC. 3.

 Section 34501.12 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

34501.12.
 (a) As used in this section and Section 34505.6, “motor carrier” means the registered owner, or a lessee, licensee, or bailee, of any vehicle described in subdivision (a), (b), (e), (f), (g), (j), or (k) of Section 34500, who operates or directs the operation of that vehicle.
(b) It is unlawful for a motor carrier to operate any vehicle of a type described in subdivision (a) without identifying to the department all terminals, as defined in Section 34515, in this state where vehicles may be inspected by the department pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 34501 and where vehicle inspection and maintenance records and driver records will be made available for inspection. Motor carriers shall make vehicles and records available for inspection upon request by an authorized representative of the department. If a motor carrier fails to provide vehicles and records, an unsatisfactory terminal rating shall be issued by the department.
(1) The number of vehicles that will be selected for inspection by the department at a terminal shall be based on terminal fleet size and applied separately to a terminal fleet of power units and trailers, according to the following schedule:
Fleet Size
Vehicles
 1 or 2
All
 3 to 8
  3
 9 to 15
  4
16 to 25
  6
26 to 50
  9
51 to 90
 14
91 or more
 20
(2) The lessor of any vehicle described in subdivision (a) shall make vehicles available for inspection upon request of an authorized representative of the department in the course of inspecting the terminal of the lessee. This section does not affect whether the lessor or driver provided by the lessor is an employee of the authorized carrier lessee and compliance with this section and its attendant administrative requirements does not imply an employee-employer relationship.
(c) (1) The department may inspect any terminal, as defined in Section 34515, of a motor carrier who, at any time, operates any vehicle described in subdivision (a).
(2) On or before January 1, 2014 2015, the department shall adopt regulations establishing a performance-based truck terminal inspection priority system. This may include systems or methodologies used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the department may also incorporate other safety-related data in this system. The department shall place an inspection priority on motor carrier terminals never previously inspected by the department and those terminals operating vehicles listed in subdivision (g) of Section 34500. Nonpriority terminals are not required to be inspected less than four years since last inspected.
(3) As used in this section and Section 34505.6, subdivision (f) of Section 34500 includes only those combinations where the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the towing vehicle exceeds 10,000 pounds, but does not include a pickup truck or any combination never operated in commercial use, and subdivision (g) of Section 34500 includes only those vehicles transporting hazardous material for which the display of placards is required pursuant to Section 27903, a license is required pursuant to Section 32000.5, or for which hazardous waste transporter registration is required pursuant to Section 25163 of the Health and Safety Code. Notwithstanding Section 5014.1, vehicles that display special identification plates in accordance with Section 5011, historical vehicles, as described in Section 5004, implements of husbandry and farm vehicles, as defined in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 36000) of Division 16, and vehicles owned or operated by an agency of the federal government are not subject to this section or Section 34505.6.
(d) (1) It is unlawful for a motor carrier to operate a vehicle from a new terminal, which is subject to this section, unless an inspection is performed on the terminal, and a safety compliance report is issued to the motor carrier regarding the terminal, within the first 18 months of operating a vehicle subject to this section from the new terminal. It is the responsibility of the motor carrier to schedule with the department the inspection of any new terminal within 90 days of operating vehicles from that new terminal.
(2) It is unlawful for a motor carrier to contract or subcontract with, or otherwise engage the services of, another motor carrier, subject to this section, unless the contracted motor carrier has complied with paragraph (1). A motor carrier shall not contract or subcontract with, or otherwise engage the services of, another motor carrier until the contracted motor carrier provides certification of compliance with paragraph (1). This certification shall be completed in writing by the contracted motor carrier. The certification, or a copy of the certification, shall be maintained by each involved party for the duration of the contract or the period of service plus two years, and shall be presented for inspection immediately upon the request of an authorized employee of the department.
(e) (1) An inspected terminal that receives an unsatisfactory compliance rating shall be reinspected by the department within 120 days after the issuance of the unsatisfactory compliance rating.
(2) When a motor carrier’s Motor Carrier of Property Permit or Public Utilities Commission operating authority is suspended as a result of an unsatisfactory compliance rating, the department shall not conduct a reinspection for permit or authority reinstatement until requested to do so by the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Public Utilities Commission, as appropriate.
(f) A motor carrier issued an unsatisfactory terminal rating may request a review of the rating within five business days of receipt of the notification of the rating. The department shall conduct and evaluate the review within 10 business days of the request.
(g) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Basic Inspection of Terminals program or BIT program.

SEC. 4.

 Section 34505.5 of the Vehicle Code is repealed.

SEC. 5.

 Section 34505.6 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

34505.6.
 (a) Upon determining that a motor carrier of property who is operating any vehicle described in subdivision (a), (b), (e), (f), (g), or (k) of Section 34500, or any motortruck of two or more axles that is more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating, on a public highway, has done either of the following, the department shall recommend that the Department of Motor Vehicles suspend or revoke the carrier’s motor carrier permit, or, for interstate operators, the department shall recommend to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that appropriate administrative action be taken against the carrier:
(1) Failed to maintain any vehicle of a type described above in a safe operating condition or to comply with the Vehicle Code or with applicable regulations contained in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations, and, in the department’s opinion, that failure presents an imminent danger to public safety or constitutes a consistent failure so as to justify a suspension or revocation of the motor carrier’s motor carrier permit.
(2) Failed to enroll all drivers in the pull-notice system as required by Section 1808.1.
(b) Upon determining that a household goods carrier, or a household goods carrier transporting used office, store, or institution furniture and fixtures under its household goods carrier permit issued under Section 5137 of the Public Utilities Code, operating any vehicle described in subdivision (a), (b), (e), (f), (g), or (k) of Section 34500 on a public highway, has done either of the following, the department shall recommend that the Public Utilities Commission deny, suspend, or revoke the carrier’s operating authority, or for interstate operators, the department shall recommend to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that appropriate administrative action be taken against the carrier:
(1) Failed to maintain any vehicle used in transportation for compensation in a safe operating condition or to comply with the Vehicle Code or with applicable regulations contained in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations, and, in the department’s opinion, that failure presents an imminent danger to public safety or constitutes a consistent failure so as to justify a suspension, revocation, or denial of the motor carrier’s operating authority.
(2) Failed to enroll all drivers in the pull-notice system as required by Section 1808.1.
(c) For purposes of this section, two consecutive unsatisfactory compliance ratings for an inspected terminal assigned because the motor carrier failed to comply with the periodic report requirements of Section 1808.1 or the cancellation of the carrier’s enrollment by the Department of Motor Vehicles for the nonpayment of required fees is a consistent failure. The department shall retain a record, by operator, of every recommendation made pursuant to this section.
(d) Before transmitting a recommendation pursuant to subdivision (a), the department shall notify the carrier in writing of all of the following:
(1) That the department has determined that the carrier’s safety record or compliance with Section 1808.1 is unsatisfactory, furnishing a copy of any documentation or summary of any other evidence supporting the determination.
(2) That the determination may result in a suspension, revocation, or denial of the carrier’s motor carrier permit by the Department of Motor Vehicles, suspension, revocation, of the motor carrier’s operating authority by the California Public Utilities Commission, or administrative action by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
(3) That the carrier may request a review of the determination by the department within five days of its receipt of the notice required under this subdivision. If a review pursuant to this paragraph is requested by the carrier, the department shall conduct and evaluate that review prior to transmitting any notification pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b).
(e) Upon receipt of a written recommendation from the department that a motor carrier permit or operating authority be suspended, revoked, or denied, the Department of Motor Vehicles or Public Utilities Commission, as appropriate, shall, pending a hearing in the matter pursuant to Section 34623 or appropriate Public Utilities Commission authority, suspend the motor carrier permit or operating authority. The written recommendation shall specifically indicate compliance with subdivision (d).

SEC. 6.

 Section 34515 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

34515.
 (a) As used in this division and in regulations adopted pursuant to this division, “maintenance facility or terminal” means any place or places where a vehicle of a type listed in Section 34500 is regularly garaged or maintained, or from which it is operated or dispatched. “Maintenance facility or terminal” may include a private business or residence.
(b) For the purpose of the inspections conducted pursuant to Section 34501.12, “terminal” means the location or locations in this state that are designated by a motor carrier, where subject vehicles may be inspected by the department and where vehicle maintenance and inspection records and drivers’ records will be made available for inspection.

SEC. 7.

 Section 34601 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

34601.
 (a) As used in this division, “motor carrier of property” means any person who operates any commercial motor vehicle as defined in subdivision (c). “Motor carrier of property” does not include a household goods carrier, as defined in Section 5109 of the Public Utilities Code, a household goods carrier transporting used office, store, and institution furniture and fixtures under its household goods carrier permit pursuant to Section 5137 of the Public Utilities Code, persons providing only transportation of passengers, or a passenger stage corporation transporting baggage and express upon a passenger vehicle incidental to the transportation of passengers.
(b) As used in this division, “for-hire motor carrier of property” means a motor carrier of property as defined in subdivision (a) who transports property for compensation.
(c) (1) As used in this division, except as provided in paragraph (2), a “commercial motor vehicle” means any self-propelled vehicle listed in subdivisions (a), (b), (f), (g), and (k) of Section 34500, any motortruck of two or more axles that is more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating, and any other motor vehicle used to transport property for compensation.
(2) As used in this division, “commercial motor vehicle” does not include any of the following:
(A) Vehicles identified in subdivision (f) of Section 34500, if the gross vehicle weight rating of the towing vehicle is 10,000 pounds or less.
(B) Vehicles identified in subdivision (g) of Section 34500, if the hazardous material transportation does not require the display of placards under Section 27903, a license under Section 32000.5, or a hazardous waste transporter registration under Section 25163 of the Health and Safety Code, and the vehicle is not operated in commercial use.
(C) Vehicles operated by a household goods carrier, as defined in Section 5109 of the Public Utilities Code, under the household goods carrier permit pursuant to Section 5137 of that code.
(D) Vehicles operated by a household goods carrier to transport used office, store, and institution furniture and fixtures under its household goods carrier permit pursuant to Section 5137 of the Public Utilities Code.
(E) Pickup trucks as defined in Section 471, if the conditions in subparagraphs (A) and (B) are also met.
(F) Two-axle daily rental trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 26,001 pounds, when operated in noncommercial use.
(G) Motortrucks or two-axle truck tractors, with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 26,001 pounds, operated singly, or, when used to tow a camp trailer, trailer coach, fifth-wheel travel trailer, trailer designed to transport watercraft, or utility trailer, never operated in commercial use. Vehicle combinations described in this subparagraph are not subject to Section 27900, 34501.12, or 34507.5.
(d) For purposes of this chapter, “private carrier” means a motor carrier of property, who transports only his or her own property, including, but not limited to, the delivery of goods sold by that carrier.

SEC. 8.

 Section 34606 of the Vehicle Code is repealed.

SEC. 9.

 Section 34622 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

34622.
 This chapter does not apply to any of the following:
(a) Vehicles described in Section 5004 or 5011, and those that are exempt from vehicle registration fees.
(b) A household goods carrier transporting used office, store, and institution furniture and fixtures under its household goods carrier permit pursuant to Section 5137 of the Public Utilities Code.

SEC. 10.

 Section 34623 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

34623.
 (a) The Department of the California Highway Patrol has exclusive jurisdiction for the regulation of safety of operation of motor carriers of property.
(b) The motor carrier permit of a motor carrier of property may be suspended for failure to do either of the following:
(1) Maintain any vehicle of the carrier in a safe operating condition or to comply with this code or with applicable regulations contained in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations, if that failure is either a consistent failure or presents an imminent danger to public safety.
(2) Enroll all drivers in the pull-notice system as required by Section 1808.1.
(c) The motor carrier permit of a motor carrier of property shall be suspended for failure to either (1) comply with the requirements of federal law described in subdivision (a) of Section 34520 of the Vehicle Code, or (2) make copies of results and other records available as required by subdivision (b) of that section. The suspension shall be as follows:
(1) For a serious violation, which is a willful failure to perform substance abuse testing in accordance with state or federal law:
(A) For a first offense, a mandatory five-day suspension.
(B) For a second offense within three years of a first offense, a mandatory three-month suspension.
(C) For a third offense within three years of a first offense, a mandatory one year suspension.
(2) For a nonserious violation, the time recommended to the department by the Department of the California Highway Patrol.
(3) For the purposes of this subdivision, “willful failure” means any of the following:
(A) An intentional and uncorrected failure to have a controlled substances and alcohol testing program in place.
(B) An intentional and uncorrected failure to enroll an employed driver into the controlled substances and alcohol testing program.
(C) A knowing use of a medically disqualified driver, including the failure to remove the driver from safety-sensitive duties upon notification of the medical disqualification.
(D) An attempt to conceal legal deficiencies in the motor carrier’s controlled substances and alcohol testing program.
(d) The department, pending a hearing in the matter pursuant to subdivision (f), may suspend a carrier’s permit.
(e) (1) A motor carrier whose motor carrier permit is suspended pursuant to subdivision (b) may obtain a reinspection of its terminal and vehicles by the Department of the California Highway Patrol by submitting a written request for reinstatement to the department and paying a reinstatement fee as required by Section 34623.5.
(2) The department shall deposit all reinstatement fees collected from motor carriers of property pursuant to this section in the fund. Upon receipt of the fee, the department shall forward a request to the Department of the California Highway Patrol, which shall perform a reinspection within a reasonable time, or shall verify receipt of the application or fee or both the application and fee. Following the term of a suspension imposed under Section 34670, the department shall reinstate a carrier’s motor carrier permit suspended under subdivision (b) upon notification by the Department of the California Highway Patrol that the carrier’s safety compliance has improved to the satisfaction of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, unless the permit is suspended for another reason or has been revoked.
(f) Whenever the department suspends the permit of any carrier pursuant to subdivision (b), (c), or paragraph (3) of subdivision (i), the department shall furnish the carrier with written notice of the suspension and shall provide for a hearing within a reasonable time, not to exceed 21 days, after a written request is filed with the department. At the hearing, the carrier shall show cause why the suspension should not be continued. Following the hearing, the department may terminate the suspension, continue the suspension in effect, or revoke the permit. The department may revoke the permit of any carrier suspended pursuant to subdivision (b) at any time that is 90 days or more after its suspension if the carrier has not filed a written request for a hearing with the department or has failed to submit a request for reinstatement pursuant to subdivision (e).
(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, a hearing shall not be provided if the suspension of the motor carrier permit is based solely upon the failure of the motor carrier to maintain satisfactory proof of financial responsibility as required by this code.
(h) A motor carrier of property may not operate a commercial motor vehicle on any public highway in this state during any period its motor carrier of property permit is suspended pursuant to this division.
(i) (1) A motor carrier of property whose motor carrier permit is suspended pursuant to this section or Section 34505.6, which suspension is based wholly or in part on the failure of the motor carrier to maintain any vehicle in safe operating condition, may not lease, or otherwise allow, another motor carrier to operate the vehicles of the carrier subject to the suspension, during the period of the suspension.
(2) A motor carrier of property may not knowingly lease, operate, dispatch, or otherwise utilize any vehicle from a motor carrier of property whose motor carrier permit is suspended, which suspension is based wholly or in part on the failure of the motor carrier to maintain any vehicle in safe operating condition.
(3) The department may immediately suspend the motor carrier permit of any motor carrier that the department determines to be in violation of paragraph (2).

SEC. 11.

 Section 40000.22 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

40000.22.
 (a) A violation of subdivision (e) of Section 34501, subdivision (b) or (d) of Section 34501.12, or subdivision (c) of Section 34501.14, relating to applications for inspections, is a misdemeanor and not an infraction.
(b) A violation of Division 14.85 (commencing with Section 34600), relating to motor carriers of property, is a misdemeanor and not an infraction.