Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1019
By: Shapleigh


Currently, the Department of Public Safety conducts compliance reviews
under Section 644.155 (Safety Audit Program), Transportation Code, some of
which result in assessment of administrative penalties on motor carriers.
There are a growing number of carriers who refuse to pay the administrative
penalties even though they acknowledge the presence of violations, and some
carriers continue to operate without fully correcting safety problems.
S.B. 1019 sets forth guidelines for impounding commercial vehicles and
payment of administrative penalties. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority previously delegated to the Department of Public Safety is
modified in SECTION 1 (Section 644.102, Transportation Code) of this bill. 


SECTION 1  Amends Section 644.102, Transportation Code, to require, rather
than authorize, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to establish by rule
uniform standards for municipal enforcement under this chapter.  Provides
that a municipality that engages in enforcement must comply with the
uniform standards established by DPS.  Requires DPS to revoke or rescind
the certification of any municipal police officer who fails to comply with
the uniform standards established. 

SECTION 2.  Amends Section 644.153, Transportation Code, by adding
Subsections (d) through (h), as follows: 

(d) Provides that a person subject to an administrative penalty imposed by
DPS under this subchapter is required to pay the administrative penalties
or respond to DPS within 20 days of receiving a notice of claim. 

(e) Prohibits a person who fails to pay or becomes delinquent in payment of
penalties imposed by DPS from operating or directing the operation of a
commercial motor vehicle on the highways of this state until the penalties
have been remitted. 

(f) Requires DPS to impound any commercial motor vehicle owned or operated
by a person in violation of Subsection (e) after DPS has served the person
with notice. Authorizes the notice to be by certified mail, registered
mail, personal delivery, or any other method showing receipt of notice. 

(g) Requires a commercial motor vehicle impounded under this section to
remain impounded until the penalties are remitted. 

(h) Requires the costs of towing and storage to be the responsibility of
the person and not DPS or the State of Texas. 

SECTION 3.  Amends Section 644.155, Transportation Code, to require DPS to
implement and enforce a safety audit program similar to the federal program
established under 49 C.F.R. Part 385  (Safety Fitness Procedures) for any,
rather than a, person who owns or operates a commercial motor vehicle that
is domiciled in this state, rather than a vehicle not subject to safety
audits by the United States. 

SECTION 4.  Effective date: September 1, 1999.

SECTION 5.  Emergency clause.