The California Legislature recently wrapped up their work for the year,
but not before acting on a handful of efforts of interest to the trucking
One measure that gained passage to the governor’s office prior to the
close of the session Aug. 31 is a bill adding California to a national safety
compliance database that monitors interstate truckers’ safety compliance. Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed the bill into law.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Roger Niello, R-Fair Oaks, the measure allows
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 new law, previously AB2736, also staggers registration renewals
instead of the current end-of-year registration renewal process.
A bill still awaiting Schwarzenegger’s signature would give
owner-operators whose trucks service ports in California the right to
Sponsored by Sen. Joseph Dunn, D-Garden Grove, the bill – SB1213 – would allow port owner-operators to organize and to collectively negotiate with
port motor carriers regarding such matters as compensation and benefits.
It also 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.
Owner-operators would have an anti-trust exemption.
Among the legislation affecting truckers that failed to advance to the
governor’s desk are a pair of bills that focused on air quality and emissions
Sponsored by Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza, D-Carson, the bill would have
required local air districts to develop diesel reduction measures and plans to
reduce emissions. Areas affected would have included 10 airports, five seaports
and 25 rail yards.
The Senate voted 20-11 on their final day of work to kill the bill. If
it had been approved, the bill – AB1101 – would have been sent back to the
Assembly for approval of changes before heading to the governor’s desk.
One other failed effort would have established a revolving fund loan
program to provide funding for truck parking space electrification and
anti-idling truck cab technologies.
The measure – AB2647 – called for financing the installation of electrification
facilities that would have enabled 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 have aided
compliance with the California Air Resources Board’s heavy-duty vehicle idling
emission reduction requirements. It was also consistent with the mandate to
reduce particulate emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks.
The bills that failed passage can be reintroduced in the session that
begins in December.