SB 0780 Licensing & Regulation of Rail & Motor Carriers
LR Number:L3034.04T Fiscal Note:3034-04
Last Action:07/12/96 - Signed by Governor
Title:HCS/SB 780
Effective Date:August 28, 1996
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Current Bill Summary

HCS/SB 780 - This act concerns motor carrier and railroad regulation by the State Division of Transportation (which name is changed). A state transportation assistance revolving fund is also created.

PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION - Outdated references to regulation of motor carriers and railroads by the PSC are removed.

CHAPTER 387 - These provisions regulating motor carriers are restricted to carriers of passengers and household goods. References to railroads are removed. The maximum fine for violations is raised from $300 to $2000 for each separate offense. Free transportation may only be provided for religious or charitable organizations, for any employee, officer or director of the carrier, or for emergency or disaster relief.

CHAPTER 389, RAILROADS - The Division of Transportation may make rules for walkways adjacent to railroads. The Division may investigate the cause of railroad accidents resulting in death or injury.

CHAPTER 622 - Definitions are added to the chapter. Records over 5 years old may be destroyed if obsolete. Administrative law judges and Division staff may not hold any position with a regulated company. Division judges and staff shall not solicit employment positions, and they shall not receive free transportation or gifts from carriers.

COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS - The Division may confer with other regulatory entities, and it may establish cooperative agreements with other states. Any financial assistance received through such agreements shall be placed in the Railroad Expense Fund. The Division may make joint investigations and orders with other states. The Division may engage in conferences with other states and foreign countries in order to arrange reciprocal agreements.

The Division may act as arbitrator in controversies involving motor carriers.

ACCOUNTS, RECORDS, REPORTS - The Division may establish a system of accounts to be used by railroad corporations and other common carriers. It may also prescribe the forms of accounts and records to be kept by such corporations. The Division may inspect all accounts and records kept. Every railroad shall file an annual report with the Division.

DIVISION ORDERS - Orders of the Division shall be in writing. The orders may be recorded in the office of any county or city recorder to give notice of its provisions to all persons. Certified copies of official documents and orders filed with the Division shall be evidence in the same manner as the originals.

FEES - The Division may not charge fees to public officials, but it may charge fees for publications. The fees collected shall be remitted to the Department of Revenue, which shall place them in a fund to be used to offset the Division's copying expenses.

SAFETY - The Division may write orders and rules as to the health and safety of every person, corporation and carrier. Notice and hearing may be waived due to imminent threats of harm. Red neon lights and signs along tracks are regulated.

GENERAL - The Division shall have general supervision of all common carriers: inspection powers; access to records; receipt and investigation of complaints; and prosecution powers for violations or threatened violations. Formal proceedings of the Division shall be public records. Other information provided by carriers to the Division shall be kept confidential.

RAILROAD ASSESSMENTS - The Division shall assess all railroads for its costs of regulating the railroads, limited to 3% of operating revenues of all the railroads. Minimum assessments are set according to track mileage. The payments shall be credited to the railroad expense fund, which shall be used by the Division.

LEGISLATION - The Division may conduct hearings and take testimony on pending legislation if so requested by the General Assembly or the Governor. It may recommend legislation.

LEGAL ACTIONS - Any party adverse to the Division shall have the burden of proof and must show by clear and satisfactory evidence that the determination of the Division is unreasonable or unlawful. Subpoenas shall extend to all parts of the state and may be served by any person of full age designated by the Division. The Division's general counsel may order the production of documents by any person or corporation. Any person failing to obey a subpoena of the Division shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

REQUIRED TESTIMONY/IMMUNITY - No person may refuse to testify before the Division or produce records on the account that it may incriminate him. Such person shall be immune from prosecution for testimony or records, except as to perjury.

ORDERS - Division orders shall be served in writing to the person or corporation affected. The person shall notify the Division in writing that the order was received. Orders shall take effect 30 days after service. Anyone interested in an order may apply for a rehearing within 30 days; if no rehearing is applied for, there shall be no right to contest the order. Appeals of Division orders in circuit and appellate courts are limited. No order may be suspended by a court unless it would result in great or irreparable damage to the petitioner, and no suspension may take effect until a bond is filed to secure any damages caused by delay of the order. Appeals to the appellate or Supreme court shall have precedence over all other civil appeals on the docket.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES - Any person destroying or falsifying records of a carrier shall be guilty of a felony. Any other violation by a carrier of this act, any other law or the Constitution shall be subject to a fine of $100 to $2000 per violation. Any person aiding or abetting any violation or failing to comply with any order or demand of the division is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. Penalties and forfeitures may be prosecuted in court by the general counsel of the division.

ATTORNEY FEES - Any person damaged by an illegal act of a common carrier shall have a legal cause of action and may recover attorney fees.

DIVISION OF TRANSPORTATION, RESTRUCTURING - The Division of Transportation in the Department of Economic Development shall become the "Division of Motor Carrier and Railroad Safety" as of July 1, 1997. Regulation of rates and routes by the Division is limited to motor carriers of passengers and household goods. All other motor carriers of property shall obtain a property carrier registration. The Division may continue to enforce the rules of the Department of Public Safety within the terminals of registered property carriers.

NEW APPLICATIONS - Certificates or permits issued before 1995 shall be void except for ones relating to household goods and passengers. Other property carriers that had active status with the Division at the end of 1994 shall be deemed to be registered property carriers and need not file a new application. Carriers of hazardous materials must file a new application for registration.

PROPERTY CARRIERS - Property carriers must be properly insured against personal injury and property damage liability. Administrative law judges of the Division shall determine whether applications by property carriers are correct. If the judge or the Division's staff oppose the registration, a hearing shall be conducted to determine the merits of the application. Property carriers may not transport household goods or hazardous material without further qualifications. Property carrier registrations may be transferred if approved. Certificates and registrations may be suspended or revoked for any violation of Chapters 386, 387, 389 or 622, RSMo, or of any safety rules enforced by the Division.

LEGAL PRECEDENT - All orders and decisions of the Division shall become admissible as evidence of the facts found in all subsequent actions brought by the Division.

CONFIDENTIALITY - All information furnished to the Division by motor carriers shall be kept confidential unless otherwise ordered by the Division Director or an administrative law judge. Violators shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

TRAINING - The Division shall adopt rules for reasonable training requirements for its enforcement personnel. Basic law enforcement training need not be included.

ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY - Highway Patrol officers and inspectors, enforcement personnel of the Division of Motor Carrier and Railroad Safety, and other peace officers of the state, cities and counties may enforce Parts 350 to 399 of the federal motor carrier regulations.

TRESPASS ON RAILROADS - It shall be a Class A misdemeanor to throw an object at a train or to maliciously cause a train derailment. It is a Class D felony if the act results in damages of at least $1,500 or injury or death, or if the act was the discharge of a firearm.

REVOLVING FUND - A State Transportation Assistance Revolving Fund is created to receive appropriations and gifts and to loan money to political subdivisions and nonprofit entities for development of air, water, rail or mass transit facilities.