ESB 5534

             As Reported By House Committee On:



Title:  An act relating to terminal safety audits of private carriers.


Brief Description:  Authorizing terminal safety audits of private carriers.


Sponsors:  Senators Vognild and Prince.


Brief History:

  Reported by House Committee on:

Transportation, March 24, 1993, DPA.




Majority Report:  Do pass as amended.  Signed by 23 members:  Representatives R. Fisher, Chair; Brown, Vice Chair; Jones, Vice Chair; Schmidt, Ranking Minority Member; Mielke, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Brough; Brumsickle; Cothern; Eide; Finkbeiner; Forner; Hansen; Horn; Johanson; J. Kohl; R. Meyers; H. Myers; Orr; Patterson; Quall; Sheldon; Shin; and Zellinsky.


Staff:  Mary McLaughlin (786-7309).


Background:  The Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) conducts intrastate common/contract carrier terminal safety audits at the company's place of business.  The carrier's books are inspected for compliance with the hours of service requirements, driver qualifications, and rate regulation.  Vehicle and equipment inspections are also conducted in the terminal yard.


Private carriers are not subject to the UTC's safety authority.  The Washington State Patrol (WSP) conducts private carrier roadside inspections, but does not perform private carrier terminal surveys.


Summary of Amended Bill:  The UTC is authorized to conduct private carrier terminal safety audits for those carriers operating vehicles (a) with a gross weight of 26,001 pounds or more, or (b) transporting hazardous materials that require placarding.  Only those private carriers with terminals in Washington State are subject to the commission's jurisdiction.  The WSP will continue to conduct roadside inspections for all private carriers.


Private carriers with in-state terminals using vehicles weighing over 26,001 pounds are required to register with the commission.  The registration application fee is a maximum of $50; the annual regulatory fee may not exceed $10.


Exempt vehicles include:  (1) vehicles owned by the federal, state or local government, and (2) farm vehicles transporting a farmer's own products to market or machinery and supplies to or from the farm, as long as the farm vehicle is not transporting a hazardous material that requires placarding or is operated within 150 air miles of the farm.


Amended Bill Compared to Engrossed Bill:  Provisions apply to all private carriers over 26,001 pounds, regardless of the number of vehicles operated.  Carriers with two or less vehicles are currently exempt.


Fiscal Note:  Available.


Effective Date of Amended Bill:  Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.


Testimony For:  The safety of the trucking industry is enhanced by extending the UTC's authority to conduct terminal audits to private carriers.


Testimony Against:  None.


Witnesses:  Larry Pursley, Washington Trucking Association; Robert Grove, United States Department of Transportation; and Don Lewis, Utilities and Transportation Commission.