California to Revamp Terminal Inspection Program
November 08, 2013
Trucking operations based in California or with terminals there are going to get a break from one the state’s regulations staring in a couple of years.
Gov. Jerry Brown last month signed legislation, AB 529, amending the Biennial Inspection of Terminals Program.
Currently BIT requires inspectors with the California Highway Patrol to inspect every truck terminal, including paperwork and equipment, once every 25 months. There are about 70,000 regulated motor carriers in the Golden State.
“It is a time-consuming process every two years of going through a BIT inspection," says Joe Rajkovacz, director of governmental affairs and communications for the California Construction Trucking Association and its interstate conference, the Western Trucking Alliance. “It is like an audit and people lost sleep over it. If you don’t pass your BIT inspection, they will be right back out in a couple of weeks and you are going to pay the entire BIT fees all over again in order to get that re-inspection done.”
Beginning in January 2016, such inspections will happen not less than every four years. CHP inspectors will use a system similar to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance Safety and Accountability program, targeting carriers for additional enforcement and to determine where CHP will send inspectors.
“If you are a good operator, why should you have to go through this every two years? It’s that simple,” Rajkovacz says. “It’s about efficiencies, but it’s also about putting the resources into targeting the bad actors instead of targeting everybody equally.”
Rajkovacz says one of the things his group has been assured of is that California will have a crash indicator and will use a motor carrier’s actual crash history and roadside inspection data. This, he says, is much more effective than inspectors visiting each and every operator in the state every 25 months. In addition, he says, California does establish fault in commercial motor vehicle fatal involved crashes, something the trucking industry has complained that CSA doesn’t do.
Between now and when the new program is up and running in just over two years, Rajkovacz says, CHP will go through a rulemaking process to set up the new system.
“There is going to be a whole rulemaking process involving the trucking industry in helping craft what this will be,” he says. “It is going to be modeled after what the Feds do, but it doesn’t mean they [CHP] have to adopt everything the Feds do.”
In fact, he says, what will be happening in California should lead to successful tweaking of CSA.