In an effort to cut down on emissions, a bill in the California Senate
would fine ports that cause truck drivers to wait more than 30 minutes while
doing business with terminals in the state. It is among a handful of trucking-related
bills before lawmakers in the state.
Under current California law, marine terminals that cause trucks to
idle or queue – wait in line – for more than 30 minutes to load or unload can
Sponsored by Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, the bill would require
marine terminals to operate in such a manner that doesn’t cause trucks to wait
– and idle – for more than 30 minutes outside terminal gates.
Once inside, it also would prohibit making truckers wait more than 30
minutes for a single transaction. Unloading and loading must be completed in 60
Lowenthal’s bill starts the clock on the so-called 30-minute “turn
time” from the moment a truck enters the first gate or queue at the terminal,
and does not stop the clock until that truck leaves the exit gate.
Marine terminals found to be in violation, would face a $250 fine per
occurrence. Any attempt by owners or operators of terminals to avoid or
circumvent these requirements would result in a $750 fine.
Terminals would be exempted from the proposed rules if the delay is
caused by certain specified events. The bill – SB1829 – is in the
Senate Environmental Quality Committee.
Another trucking-related effort before lawmakers would give
owner-operators whose trucks service ports in California the right to
Sponsored by Sen. Joseph
Dunn, D-Garden Grove, the bill would extend to port owner-operators the right
to organize and to collectively negotiate with port motor carriers regarding
such matters as compensation and benefits.
In addition, it would
extend to those drivers key benefits that many employees in the state have,
such as the ability to withhold their services on a collective basis – in
essence, the right to legally strike – and to be free from any coercion by port
motor carriers regarding those rights.
A separate bill would aid truck retrofits in the state.
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Shirley Horton, R-Lemon Grove, the retrofit
bill would establish a revolving loan pilot program administered by the
California Energy Commission until Jan. 1, 2012, to finance emission-reduction
kits and optional energy improvements for heavy-duty diesel trucks operating at
least 75 percent within the state.
It is intended to help reduce the consumption of diesel fuel in the
state, reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and save truckers
Small businesses with up to five trucks and larger businesses with up
to 10 trucks would be eligible to receive funding for the retrofit kits.
According to a legislative analysis on the bill, about 68,000
on-highway Class 8 trucks would be eligible for the retrofits.
Another piece of legislation intended to aid truckers was approved by
the Assembly Transportation Committee Tuesday, April 4.
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza, D-Carson, the bill would
establish a revolving fund loan program to provide funding for truck parking
space electrification and anti-idling truck cab technologies.
The measure would finance the installation of electrification
facilities that would enable large trucks “to use plug-in electricity to power
their in-cab needs rather than using main engine or auxiliary diesel powered
units,” Oropeza wrote.
According to a legislative analysis, the bill would also aid compliance
with the California Air Resources Board’s heavy-duty vehicle idling emission
reduction requirements. It is also consistent with the mandate to reduce
particulate emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks.
One other bill would allow add California to a national safety
compliance database that monitors interstate truckers’ safety compliance.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Roger Niello, R-Fair Oaks, the measure would
allow the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles access to the registration
information for out-of-state truckers doing business in the state.
Niello said the goal of the program is that law enforcement would have
the same information for interstate carriers as they have for intrastate
The bill would also stagger registration renewals instead of the
current end-of-year registration renewal process.
Dunn’s bill – SB1213 – is in the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee. Horton’s
bill – AB1901 – is in the Assembly Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy
Committee. Niello’s bill – AB2736 – is in the Assembly Transportation
Committee. Oropeza’s bill – AB2647 – is awaiting consideration before the full