raised the stakes in the battle over base plating, filing suit against
the administrator of the International Registration Plan Inc. to
block sanctions against the state, The Oklahoma City Oklahoman reported Dec. 20.
which will be heard before a federal judge in Oklahoma City, was
filed to protect more than $16 million in fees the state would lose
if the sanctions were put into place, the newspaper reported. Officials
of the Oklahoma Tax Commission started the action after being notified
other states and all 10 Canadian provinces would withhold truck
fees from the state - which fund state government and schools in
Oklahoma - after the first of the year.
In April, the
IRP's Dispute Resolution Committee ruled that Oklahoma had cheated
Illinois out of trucker fees by looking the other way when agents
hired by truckers filed false mileage projections to get their clients
cheaper tags, Land Line reported in November. The two states
were given until November to try to reach a settlement, but the
IRP says Oklahoma failed to reach an agreement with Illinois by
The IRP had
told Oklahoma that if the state can't prove compliance, other states
and provinces would stop sending fees Feb. 7.
the only state complaining about fiscal losses to the Sooner state.
A number of financially strapped states are unhappy over losing
money to Oklahoma. They're particularly peeved over Oklahoma's bogus
mileages and the scandal within the Oklahoma Tax Commission. Already,
reports have come in that some states are citing Oklahoma base-plated
trucks, calling them illegally tagged. Alabama is reportedly ticketing
trucks that officials there think are improperly registered in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma officials say losing the truck tag fees or facing a potentially
large judgment would be devastating to the state, The Oklahoman reported, which is already facing budget shortfalls and layoffs.
the court to force the other states to keep paying the fees and
to declare the IRP's sanctions invalid.
could require cross-view mirrors
of the New Jersey Legislature have approved a bill that requires
backup mirrors or monitoring devices on most delivery trucks and
To reduce the
number of fatalities and injuries attributable to "backing
accidents," SB377 requires either a convex-shaped, rear cross-view
mirror or an electronic rear backup monitoring device on commercial
delivery vans and trucks with a cube-style, walk-in cargo box up
to 18 feet long. The mirror should be installed at the top left
rear corner of the cargo box so the operator of the truck has an
unobstructed view of the lower six feet of the entire rear width
of the truck body. A rear cross-view mirror costs about $50, according
to the bill.
The U.S. Department
of Transportation estimates up to 130 of those killed each year
in backing accidents are children. The Senate Law and Public Safety
and Veterans' Affairs Committee reported that Federal Express has
experienced a 36 percent reduction in backing accidents since installing
rear cross-view mirrors on its delivery vans.
Passed by both
houses Nov. 18, the bill currently sits on Gov. James McGreevey's
desk. The bill would take effect about four months after being signed
by the governor.
Tankersley, feature editor