Alabama’s House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 11, approved a bill creating new penalties and fines and increasing others for companies and drivers who fail to follow federal securement guidelines for hauling steel coils. The bill, which passed by a unanimous vote of 94-0, now moves to Gov. Bob Riley’s desk for his expected signature.
The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Paul. DeMarco, R-Homewood, passed the Senate last month by a vote of 27-0. Sen. Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills, sponsored the bill in the Senate. Under the bill, drivers who drop loads can face up to a year in jail, plus fines. Meanwhile, drivers whose loads are found to have securement violations without an accident can be fined up to $5,000. The bill also mandates certified training for drivers who haul these coils, and allows for fines of up to $10,000 for companies that fail to properly train and certify its drivers.
Frank Filgo, Alabama Trucking Association president and chief executive officer, says he is pleased with the vote. “Our Association leaders, many of whom actually haul steel coils, were very proactive in making sure that this legislation had teeth and penalized those who negligently drop loads,” Filgo says. “We’ve said all along that the problem was not with the current federal and state guidelines for load securement, but rather how drivers and company managers followed these guidelines.”