Louisiana bills advance; focus on trucking permits, UCR

| 6/5/2008

Two bills on the move in the Louisiana statehouse are of interest to truck drivers. The bills would change permitting for sealed cargo containers and implement the Unified Carrier Registration program.

The Senate Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committee approved 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, the bill introduced by Rep. Cameron Henry, R-New Orleans, 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 – HB832 – would make the regulations applicable anywhere.

Henry is the sponsor of another measure – HB550 – 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.

HB832 has moved to the Senate floor for further consideration. If approved there, it would head back to the House for approval of changes before moving to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s desk. HB550 has advanced from committee to the House floor.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Louisiana in 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor