The Transportation Division consists of four sections: Enforcement, Insurance and Registration, Railway Safety, and Rates and Services. As provided by law, the Transportation Division is responsible for the supervision and regulation of air, motor, and rail carriers.
The Enforcement Section conducts and carries out investigative, monitoring, and enforcement activities of the Commission to assure and obtain compliance with the provision of the Alabama Motor Carrier Act and rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto by the Commission as they relate to vehicle safety and operations by motor carriers subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission.
This section investigates accidents involving motor carriers subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission and makes recommendations to prevent recurrence. When such carriers are found to be operating without proper authority or are conducting their operation in violation of established rules and regulations, steps are taken to require compliance. If conditions warrant, violators are arrested and prosecuted in the courts with proper jurisdiction.
>From October 1999 through September 2000, records indicate 1,903 violations found, with officers issuing 687 citations and 431 warning tickets for various violations. Enforcement officers conducted 542 safety inspections (physically checked vehicles) and checked 6,316 vehicles. Officers conducted 95 investigations pertaining to illegal operations and violations of rules and regulations. Sixty-five drivers were placed out of service, and 69 vehicles were placed out of service during FY-00.
INSURANCE & REGISTRATION SECTION
The Insurance and Registration Section performs three functions. First, it registers for-hire commercial intrastate brokers, air carriers, and motor carriers granted authority by the Commission. It registers motor carriers from the United States and Canada that have been granted authority by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or those exempt from federal regulation.
Secondly, it requires motor or air carriers of passengers or property to file and maintain proof of financial responsibility. Such carriers file forms of liability insurance, cargo insurance, bonds, self-insurance, and bonds for handling of collect-on-delivery shipments.
Thirdly, the section issues motor carrier vehicle identification stamps, decals, numbers, trip permits, and single state registration receipts. It also collects, accounts for, and deposits the monies collected for applications, transfers, and motor carrier identification into the State Treasury. It is responsible for maintaining journals, ledgers, receipts, and various other records and reports of monies received and deposited. It audits motor carrier records to verify the correct number of receipts have been purchased.
This section processes and approves applications for registering such carriers operating in interstate commerce into and through Alabama. This includes the issuance of Commission orders of registration when all the requirements of law are met. It also revokes or reinstates such carrier's authority, when applicable, according to provisions set out in statutes, rules, and regulations. It works with other state and federal agencies that also regulate motor carriers.
This section ensures for-hire motor carriers have insurance on file before issuing credentials to operate. It also issues orders of revocation for failure to maintain proof of financial responsibility and orders of reinstatement after proof has been received as prescribed by law.
Subsequent to the above-mentioned regulation of motor carriers, this section provides information to the public, permitting services, lawyers, insurance companies, transportation companies, and other state and federal agencies concerning regulatory matters.
Finally, this section requires motor and rail carriers to file annual reports of their operations.
A tabulation of this section's activities follows:
- Insurance Filings:
|Self-insurance, bonds for liability and cargo, certificates for liability and cargo, bonds for brokers||17,569|
|Letters of correspondence||453|
- Registration of Authority:
|SSRS applications from other states||25,652|
|SSRS applications from Alabama||2,033|
- Motor Carrier Vehicle Identification:
|SSRS receipts issued||534,702|
|Numbers and decals issued||977|
|Letters of correspondence||150|
- Revocations and Reinstatement of Authority:
|Revoked for no insurance||1,552|
|Reinstated after compliance||981|
- Annual and Quarterly Reports:
|Letters of correspondence||487|
The Railway Safety Section conducts safety compliance inspections on all railroad common carriers' track and equipment in Alabama in accordance with state and federal standards. Inspections are also made to monitor compliance with regulations for Railroad Workplace Safety.
This section investigates railroad accidents and derailments to determine causes and to recommend action to prevent recurrence. Federally certified inspectors assist the Federal Railway Administration (FRA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in major accident investigations. This section also handles complaints regarding railway safety from railroads, railroad employees, labor unions, other governmental agencies, and the public.
Inspections are conducted on railroad rehabilitative projects administered by the Alabama Department of Transportation. Agreements between the railroads and DOT typically specify adherence to FRA Class II standards and encompass a 10-year time frame.
Members of the Railway Safety Section participate in Operation Lifesaver as certified program presenters. Operation Lifesaver is a national public education and awareness program that seeks to reduce the number of crashes at highway-rail grade crossings. Target groups include school bus drivers, driver's education students, professional drivers, emergency response personnel (police, ambulance, and fire), as well as the public.
The following is a breakdown of the activities of the Railway Safety Section during the period covering October 1999 through September 2000:
RATES AND SERVICES SECTION
|Total Miles of Railway Track Inspected||2,049|
|Total Railway Accidents||4 |
|Total Units of Rolling Stock Inspected (Railway cars)||8,457|
|Total Locomotives Inspected||606|
|Total Railroad Records Inspected||810 |
|Total Complaints Investigated||4 |
The Rates and Services Section advises the Commission on matters pertaining to the rates, fares, charges, services, and facilities of regulated modes of intrastate transportation.
The section maintains a file of all tariffs setting forth rates, fares, charges, classification, rules and regulations for intrastate transportation companies. Staff members check each re-issue and supplement filed to ensure compliance with PSC rules and regulations, and they also evaluate tariff revisions.
The revised tariffs and supplements are either approved and become effective when proposed in the filing, or they are suspended and investigated. When the Commission institutes a formal investigation, public hearings are held. When the record is complete, the examiner and other staff members study the evidence of record to make recommendations to the Commission. Once the Commission issues its decision, an order is written for the Commissioners' signatures.
This section compiles data from motor carriers and tariff publishing bureaus for Commission proceedings and to supply information for staff and other state or federal agencies. The data also enables the Commission to track the overall financial condition of the industry.
The section handles requests for verification of rates, fares, and charges of passengers and household goods. It also verifies rates and services provided by motor carriers through field audits of carriers' facilities and records.
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