In an effort to cut down on emissions, the California Senate recently
voted to approve a bill that would fine ports that cause truck drivers to wait
more than 30 minutes while doing business with terminals in the state. It is
one of several trucking-related bills that are drawing consideration in the
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.
The bill also states that once inside the gates, truckers could not be
made to wait more than 30 minutes for a single transaction. Unloading and
loading must be completed in 60 minutes.
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 Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Another trucking-related effort would give
owner-operators whose trucks service ports in California the right to
collectively bargain. The Assembly Labor and Employment Committee voted 6-2
June 22 to advance the bill to the Assembly floor. The Senate approved it in
Sponsored by Sen. Joseph
Dunn, D-Garden Grove, the bill – SB1213 – 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 is intended to aid truckers.
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 drivers of 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.
Oropeza’s bill – AB2647 – won passage in the Assembly before it was
forwarded to the Senate. It is now in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The Senate approved a bill that would add California to a national
safety compliance database that monitors interstate truckers’ safety
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 measure would also stagger registration renewals instead of the
current end-of-year registration renewal process.
Niello’s bill – AB2736 – has been sent back to the Assembly for
approval of Senate changes. If approved, it would head to Gov. Arnold
– By Keith Goble, state legislative