Trucking bills advance in Colorado

| Monday, April 23, 2007

Two bills advancing in the Colorado General Assembly are focused on certain trucking companies that operate in the state.

The House voted 62-2 to approve a bill – SB62 – that is intended to ensure that companies with outstanding civil penalties for safety violations aren’t using the state’s roadways.

Sponsored by Sen. Sue Windels, D-Arvada, the bill would cancel and/or prohibit the renewal of vehicle registrations for instrastate motor carriers who have failed to pay outstanding fines for safety violations. The motor carriers would also be forbidden from working on state projects.

Trucks that operate interstate would be exempt from the rule until July 1, 2009.

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.

Windels’ bill now heads to Gov. Bill Ritter’s desk. The Senate already approved it by unanimous consent.

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

The bill was stalled for a short time in a House committee. Upon restart, the bill quickly gained passage on the House floor by a 45-20 vote. The vote cleared the way for the bill to head to the Senate where it is awaiting consideration on the chamber floor.

Sponsored by Rep. Dianne Primavera, D-Broomfield, the bill – HB1249 – 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.

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