California port bills making strides

| 8/20/2002

Two pieces of legislation affecting truckers are moving closer to passage in the California Legislature. One calls for port operators to be fined for keeping trucks idling; one would make intermodal chassis inspections tougher.

AB2650 by Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal (D-San Pedro) would require truckers to reach the outside gate of any marine terminal in the state within 30 minutes of getting in line. Originally, the bill's language set a fine of up to $250 on terminal operators who did not meet the 30-minute rule, but a last minute trade-off on the Assembly floor removed the fine if terminal operators set up an appointment system or operated during non-peak hours.

The bill is set for its first hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee next week.

SB1507 would require ocean marine terminals that conduct intermodal roadability inspection programs to sign (under penalty of perjury) that the inspection was performed. It also provides for a more thorough inspection and a re-inspection if the driver hauling the container believes the chassis is unsafe.

Sen. Gloria Romero's (D-Los Angeles) bill also contains a provision that no commercial driver could be threatened, coerced, or retaliated against for contacting a law enforcement agency regarding the condition of the intermodal chassis. SB1507 is on the calendar for a vote before the full assembly before the end of the month.