Effort to make owners responsible for chassis fails in Oregon

| 8/17/2005

A bill in the Oregon Legislature that sought to force the owners or leasers of intermodal chassis to be responsible for the proper maintenance of the equipment has died.

The measure, sponsored by Sen. Kate Brown, D-Portland, remained in the Senate Budget Committee when the session ended last week, effectively killing it for the year.

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

It called for inspections that would check such items as brakes, suspension, tires and wheels, connecting devices, lights, and electrical systems. Inspectors would have been required to place tamper-proof green tags on chassis with no defects and red tags on chassis with defects.

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

The measure also sought to allow drivers to request that a chassis be reinspected if they thought it to be unsafe. Port employees, inspectors, owners, or lessees of intermodal chassis would have been 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.