Lowenthal Big-Rig Safety Bill signed into law AB 529 modernizes the California Highway Patrol enforcement system

In partnership with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and the trucking industry, Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) crafted AB 529, which was signed into law on Oct. 3 by Gov. Jerry Brown. The bill capitalizes on technology and data to modernize the CHP inspection program for trucks into a more focused, performance-based system, according to Lowenthal.

“This is about safety,” said Lowenthal, chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee. “With AB 529, authorities can focus their resources on the problem carriers, improving the safety of our roadways for all California drivers.”
The current Biennial Inspection of Terminals program requires certain motor carriers operating commercial vehicles from terminal locations across the state to undergo a safety inspection at least once every 25 months. The inspection includes a sample of the regulated vehicles, maintenance records and driver records.

Beginning in 2016, the program will draw from data gathered by the Department of Motor Vehicles and law-enforcement from around the state and nation, allowing the CHP to zero-in on new motor carriers and those that are most likely to be out of compliance or have safety issues. Carriers that are considered non-compliant or new, or those hauling hazardous materials, will have more frequent inspections, while those with clear records will be subject to inspection at least once every six years. The CHP will continue its roadside inspection program for all carriers, according to Lowenthal’s office.

AB 529 extends the new inspection program beyond big-rig trucks to include tow trucks, construction trucks and all companies that transport their products in two-axle trucks. Inspection records will be publicly available, further incentivizing compliance for carriers operating in California.

AB 529 was supported by the trucking industry, including the California Construction Trucking Association, the California Tow Truck Association, the California Trucking Association, and the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association. The bill received broad, bipartisan support in the legislature, according to Lowenthal’s office.

Source: Bonnie Lowenthal’s office

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