introduced recently in the U.S. House and Senate place the responsibility
of chassis inspection and repair on equipment owners and not truck
drivers, as has been the practice.
Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-CO, introduced SB1776 Oct. 23. The
bill would require owners of chassis interchanged with truckers
at ports and rail terminals to be held responsible for maintaining
them to federal safety requirements.
holds a commercial driver's license. He described his bill as the
companion bill to HR2863, introduced by Rep. Henry Brown, R-SC.
Campbells bill was referred to the Committee on Commerce,
Science and Transportation.
day, literally hundreds of unsafe intermodal chassis carrying containers
leave U.S. ports and travel on our public roads and highways, endangering
not only the drivers of these vehicles but also the general public,
which shares the road with them
legislation places responsibility for equipment safety and compliance
with federal and state regulations squarely where it belongs --
with those who own or control the equipment, Campbell said.
current law, the brunt of responsibility for equipment safety and
compliance is placed on port drivers. The trucking companies and
commercial drivers that service the ports do not own chassis, but
are obligated by terminal operators to use the chassis provided
to transport intermodal containers to and from the ports.
bill would require equipment controllers to inspect and repair intermodal
equipment to meet all safety regulations prior to offering it for
interchange, and to certify and document that such inspections have
been performed, Campbell said. In addition, it gives
the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration the authority to
enter a port facility to review the inspection process and assure
bill also requires that citations issued for violations related
to the defective condition of an intermodal chassis that is not
owned by that motor carrier or driver will not affect the motor
carrier's overall safety rating or the motor carrier's driving record.
Browns bill was referred to the House Subcommittee on Highways
Transit and Pipelines.
by Dick Larsen, senior editor
Larsen can be reached at email@example.com.