Louisiana bills focused on trucking permits, operations, etc.

| 4/24/2008

Several bills offered in the Louisiana House are of interest to truck drivers. Topics include permits for intermodal containers, indemnification contracts, the Unified Carrier Registration program and restricting truck traffic in one town.

Rep. Cameron Henry, R-New Orleans, introduced a bill that would change how permits are issued for sealed cargo containers. Permits would be issued to containers rather than transport vehicles. The regulations for transport of sealed containers would be applicable to domestic and international trade.

In addition, Henry’s bill would expand where regulations are applicable for vehicles transporting intermodal containers with a gross vehicle weight of 95,000 pounds. Louisiana law now applies the regulations within 50 miles of ports or harbor districts. The bill would make the regulations applicable anywhere.

Henry is the sponsor of another measure that would authorize the state to implement and administer the Unified Carrier Registration Act. It is a federal act intended to replace the Single State Registration System.

UCR is a plan that will have a fee structure that goes from the old per-truck basis to a per-carrier basis and will be the same for all member states. Truckers will no longer have to pick and choose states, as they do with the SSRS. One fee will cover all states. The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections would be responsible for implementing the program.

Another bill, this one introduced by Rep. Franklin Foil, R-Baton Rouge, would prohibit truck drivers from being required to sign indemnification agreements assuming liability for not-at-fault wrecks.

A separate bill is intended to limit commercial truck traffic in the city of Clinton.

Sponsored by Rep. Thomas McVea, R-St. Francisville, the measure would ban trucks from using state Highways 67 and 10 within the southeast Louisiana town. Violators would face fines up to $500.

Exceptions would be made for local pickups and deliveries.

Henry’s bills, HB832 and HB550, respectively; Foil’s bill, HB1048; and McVea’s bill, HB855; are in the House Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committee.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Louisiana, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor