Colorado bill shifting Ports of Entry to State Patrol advances

| 4/29/2010

Truckers are keeping a watchful eye on an effort in the Colorado House to transfer responsibility for the state’s ports of entry.

The Colorado Department of Revenue now operates the Ports of Entry weigh stations throughout the state. The House Appropriations Committee voted to advance to the full House a bill that would hand over responsibilities to the State Patrol within the Colorado Department of Public Safety.

An estimated 7 million commercial vehicles travel through the ports of entry each year. A fiscal note on the bill reports they generate $2.5 million annually for the state through vehicle registration compliance.

Rep. Buffie McFadyen, D-Pueblo West, says that consolidating truck safety and enforcement activities into one agency will improve efficiency and translate into cost savings. McFadyen, the bill’s sponsor, refers to the switch as a “single one-stop shop for motor carrier safety.”

Owner-operator and member of the OOIDA Board of Directors Jack McComb of Littleton, CO, attended a recent hearing at the Capitol to represent the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. During his testimony McComb said the bill would help ensure greater uniformity and consistency in truck inspections, interpretations of laws and enforcement procedures.

“I told them that drivers traveling cross country have to deal with the fact that there are not uniform laws from state to state. That’s a very difficult thing for truckers to deal with,” McComb told Land Line. He said the lack of uniformity in states such as Colorado compounds the problem.

The motor carrier services division of the Department of Revenue would continue to be responsible for personnel.

McFadyen says the model sought in the bill already exists in many states, and it works well. She has encouraged lawmakers to act now to make the move, which is necessary for the state.

The bill – HB1113 – is awaiting a final vote before the full House. If approved, it would move to the Senate for further consideration.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Colorado, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor

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