Oregon may force chassis owners to be responsible for equipment

| 6/27/2005

The Oregon Senate Budget Committee is reviewing a bill that would force the owners or leasers of intermodal chassis to be responsible for the proper maintenance of the equipment.

Under SB1007, ports in the state that load and unload oceangoing vessels would be required to employ trained safety inspectors to check every intermodal chassis – the trailers that carry intermodal freight containers – before they leave a port.

Sponsored by Sen. Kate Brown, D-Portland, it calls for inspections that would check such items as brakes, suspension, tires and wheels, connecting devices, lights and electrical systems. Inspectors would be required to place a tamper-proof green tag on chassis with no defects and a red tag on chassis with defects.

Red-tagged chassis could not be released to a driver until repairs were made. Removing or tampering with a tag could result in a $6,250 fine, one-year imprisonment, or both.

The measure also would allow drivers to request that a chassis be reinspected if they think it’s unsafe. Port employees, inspectors, owners, or lessees of intermodal chassis would be fined $1,250, serve 30 days in jail, or both, if they threatened, coerced, or otherwise retaliated against a driver who notified an inspector about the condition of a chassis, or requested reinspection or repair.