Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205
04/27/2006 01:30 PM TRANSPORTATION
Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 266-VEHICLE WEIGHTS AND INSURANCE 1:37:51 PM JENNIFER BAXTER, Staff to Representative Jim Elkins, introduced HB 266, which is an act relating to penalties for violation of vehicle limitations and modifies existing law related to the penalty structure for overweight vehicle violations. She said this legislation proposes the first increase in penalties since the existing provisions were established in the 1970's. It was introduced because existing penalties do not adequately inhibit shipping companies and others from violating overweight vehicle limitations. The proposed modification establishes a graduated penalty for the amount of weight in excess of the limitations set by statute, regulation, and permit. MS. BAXTER continued to say that another provision of the bill prohibits the use of overweight vehicle violations by insurers to adversely impact decisions related to providing private automobile insurance coverage for the drivers, who are usually not aware that the vehicle is overweight. She advised that the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Teamsters, and Horizon Shipping Lines all support HB 266. CHAIR HUGGINS asked Ms. Baxter whether she has met any resistance to the bill. MS. BAXTER said yes, that the Finance Committee version of the bill took out Section 3, which was a repeat offender violation clause. Under Alaska Statute, the commissioner already has authority to investigate repeat offenses, so that section was redundant. She said that the House Transportation Committee sponsored the bill and its main concern was that drivers be protected from any adverse impact on their personal automobile insurance as a result of these violations. 1:41:19 PM SENATOR ALBERT KOOKESH joined the meeting. SENATOR COWDERY related an anecdotal story about an overweight violation. 1:44:15 PM CHAIR HUGGINS asked whether the bill would preclude any impact on the drivers' personal insurance rates. MS. BAXTER replied yes. SENATOR FRENCH asked Ms. Baxter who has to pay the tickets. MS. BAXTER answered that it is a decision between the drivers and the employer. SENATOR COWDERY asked if it would be the driver who would get the ticket for anything except a safety violation. SENATOR FRENCH agreed that the ticket would be issued against the driver, but speculated that there could be an indemnification agreement between the driver and the company that loaded the truck, or the company he works for, since it is clear that the driver often doesn't know or have control over the truck weight. 1:48:27 PM MS. BAXTER clarified that Section 3 was removed because the DOT has authority to investigate multiple offenders under AS 45.75.090. CHAIR HUGGINS recognized Duane Bannock and asked him whether he had any opposition to the bill. MR. BANNOCK, Director, Division of Motor Vehicles, said no. CHAIR HUGGINS recognized Aves Thompson. AVES D. THOMPSON, Director of Commercial Vehicles, Department of Transportation, testified in favor of HB 266. He said that an increase in penalties is long overdue and that there are provisions in the administrative code that provide for weighing allowances to accommodate unintentional violations. He confirmed that citations are written to the driver, but the company generally pays the fine. He stressed that the Alaska Trucking Association and a number of major carriers are in support of this legislation. 1:51:39 PM RICHARD ASAY, Carlile Transportation, testified in support of the bill. He confirmed that the driver gets the ticket, but the company pays it. MICHAEL BELL, Director, Alaska Trucking Association, testified in support of the bill. Drivers are rarely responsible for loading the vehicles that they drive, so the companies should bear the responsibility. SENATOR COWDERY moved CSHB 266(FIN) and attached fiscal notes from the committee with individual recommendations. Hearing no objections, the motion carried.