HHG movers, bad trucking companies focus of Colorado bills

| 2/15/2007

Legislation in the Colorado General Assembly is targeting certain trucking companies that operate in the state.

A bill offered by Sen. Sue Windels, D-Arvada, is intended to ensure that motor carriers with outstanding civil penalties for safety violations aren't using the state's roadways.

The Senate Transportation Committee approved the bill that would cancel and/or prohibit the renewal of vehicle registrations for intrastate motor carriers that have failed to pay outstanding fines for safety violations. The motor carriers would also be forbidden from working on state projects.

Supporters say the protections are needed to force compliance with the state's safety rules. They say the result would be safer roads for travelers in the state.

Another bill would require officials with newly registered household goods movers to submit to a fingerprint-based criminal history record check.

Sponsored by Rep. Dianne Primavera, D-Broomfield, the measure would require the checks for owners, directors, officers and general partners in newly registered household movers. After Jan. 1, 2008, the rule would apply to movers already registered.

The bill summary said the Public Utilities Commission would be allowed to "deny, revoke or refuse to renew the registration of a mover that is not of good moral character . or has not satisfied a civil or criminal judgment against it."

The measure also would mandate that intrastate movers provide shippers with a standard consumer advisement and also provide for an arbitration process in regard to any disputes.

In addition, it would prohibit unregistered movers from acquiring or enforcing a carrier's lien.

Windels' bill - SB62 - is in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Primavera's bill - HB1249 - is in the House Transportation Committee.

- By Keith Goble, state legislative editor