Every little BIT helps in California

| 5/20/2011

Truckers and enforcement are working together in California to effect some positive changes in the state’s mandatory two-year compliance review program. The changes could save time and money – something every trucker could use a little more of.

California’s Biennial Inspection of Terminal program, known as BIT, is the state’s version of a compliance review for intrastate carriers. It comes with a fee, administered by the California Highway Patrol, ranging from $270 for one-truck operations up to $1,870 for 101 or more trucks using a terminal.

A cooperative effort by the California Highway Patrol, California Department of Motor Vehicles, OOIDA, the California Dump Truck Owners Association and California Trucking Association aims to make substantive changes to the BIT program – and it will take a legislative effort.

One of the changes would get the Highway Patrol out of the collection business by transferring fees and collections to the DMV. As part of the transfer – which the Highway Patrol supports – fees would be based on a single motor carrier instead of by terminal.

All but 5 percent of carriers would see a reduction in fees under the proposal. A one-truck operator, for example, would see a $10 fee reduction, OOIDA Director of Regulatory Affairs Joe Rajkovacz said.

Rajkovacz says another important change lies beyond the fees.

Currently, everyone must go through the review process every 24 months, he said. With changes in the program, only those motor carriers whose safety data indicates compliance issues would likely face an in-person visit from the CHP.

“If you take care of your data, you still have to pay the fee, but your doorstep won’t be graced by enforcement,” Rajkovacz said.

OOIDA will inform the membership once a bill is filed in the California State Legislature.