"Alaska will receive $685.5 in Basic Program and Incentive Funds in FFY2003. Loss of these funds through failure to pass this legislation and the subsequent failure to adopt the current regulations will virtually eliminate commercial vehicle safety enforcement effort in Alaska."
- Rep. Williams
"An Act relating to the regulation of commercial motor vehicles to avoid loss or withholding of federal highway money, and to out-of-service orders concerning commercial motor vehicles; amending Rule 43.1, Alaska Rules of Administration; and providing for an effective date."
House Bill 280 would transfer certain authority to regulate commercial motor vehicles from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF). This change is needed to avoid losing federal highway money. The bill also directly amends Rule 43.1 of the Alaska Rules of Administration.
Under current law, the authority to adopt regulations regarding commercial motor vehicles is divided among: the Department of Administration (DOA) for licensing of drivers of commercial motor vehicles; the DOT&PF for matters relating to commercial motor vehicle inspections; and the DPS for all matters relating to commercial motor vehicles. Under this bill, the authority to adopt regulations necessary to avoid the loss or withholding of federal highway money would be vested in DOT&PF, except for matters that relate to licensing of drivers of commercial motor vehicles.
The bill corrects an oversight that occurred when implementing Executive Orders 98 and 99 in 1997. EO 98 transferred the responsibility for commercial motor vehicle safety inspections from the DPS to the DOT&PF. EO 99 transferred most functions related to motor vehicles found in Title 28 from DPS to the Department of Administration (DOA). After the issuance of EO's 98 and 99, DPS retained the authority to adopt regulations related to commercial motor vehicles, except for safety inspections and driver licensing. HB280 would transfer the remaining regulation authority in DPS relating to commercial motor vehicles to DOT&PF. The Department needs the authority to adopt these regulations to avoid the loss or withholding of federal funding.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations provide that a state becomes ineligible for Basic Program or Incentive funds under the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program for failure to adopt any new regulation or amendment to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) or the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) within three years of its effective date. Since the state's adoption of federal regulations pertaining to CMV operations, driver/vehicle safety standards and hazardous materials transport has not been updated since 1995, Alaska is out of compliance.
Alaska will receive $685.5 in Basic Program and Incentive Funds in FFY2003. Loss of these funds through failure to pass this legislation and the subsequent failure to adopt the current regulations will virtually eliminate commercial vehicle safety enforcement effort in Alaska.
The Alaska Trucking Association, Teamsters Local 959 and the Associated General Contractors of Alaska support the bill provisions correcting the regulation adoption authority problems and supporting the language in existing statute. The Departments of Public Safety and Administration also support this legislation.