One trucking bill signed into law in Colorado; another dies

| Monday, May 21, 2007

Gov. Bill Ritter has signed a bill into law intended to keep the state’s roadways a little more safe. Meanwhile, a separate effort with the same goal has died.

The governor put his signature on a bill that ensures companies with outstanding civil penalties for safety violations aren’t using the state’s roadways.

Previously SB62, the new law allows the state to cancel and/or prohibit the renewal of vehicle registrations for intrastate motor carriers who have failed to pay outstanding fines for safety violations. Affected 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 will be safer roads for travelers in the state.

The new law takes effect July 1.

A separate bill met a much different fate. The bill would have required officials with newly registered household goods movers to submit to a fingerprint-based criminal history record check.

The stumbling block turned out to be the amount of funding to be appropriated for administering the record checks. House lawmakers failed to approve Senate changes to the appropriations prior to the close of the session this month.

Sponsored by Rep. Dianne Primavera, D-Broomfield, the bill – HB1249 – would have required the checks for owners, directors, officers and general partners in newly registered household movers. After Jan. 1, 2008, the rule would have applied 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 have mandated 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 have prohibited unregistered movers from acquiring or enforcing a carrier’s lien.

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