Frequently Asked Questions

1. Senate Bill 583

Q. What is Senate Bill 583?

A. SB 583 is a comprehensive reorganization and revision of weight enforcement laws and resources pertaining to heavy trucks and commercial motor vehicles (CMV’s).  It especially focuses on CMV’s transporting coal.

Q. What are the major components of SB 583?

A. Major components of SB 583 include:

1.    Designation of a Coal Resource Transportation System CRTS) to be made by the Commissioner of Highways over which increased weight limits will be allowed.

  •   15 county area is eligible
  •   Maximum GVW designations – 120,000 lbs. plus 5% tolerance
  •   Final CRTS road designations January 1, 2004, following interim designations and public comment

2.    CRTS Permitting System

  •   Annual Permit Renewal   (December 31 - December 31)
  •   Permits specific as to vehicle and owner
  •   Permit fees fund CRTS maintenance

3.    Electronic Truck Weight Reporting

  •   Effective October 1, 2003
  •   Applies to coal shippers and receivers within 15 CRTS counties
  •   Effective October 1, 2003 for coal shipments on CRTS
  •   Electronic transfer or manual entry of information on a web based form for reporting of all coal   shipments through the Internet to PSC

4.    Administrative Sanctions

  •   Apply to CRTS violations and coal shipment reporting violations
  •   Apply to shippers, receivers, CMV owners and operators, spotters, and persons who aid and abet   violators
  •   Administered by PSC employees and administrative law judges
  •   Sanctions are in addition to criminal penalties assessed by courts (example: drivers/business license
      suspension; fines)
  •   Shippers of overweight coal loads are subject to mandatory monetary penalties

5.    Transfer of approximately 70 weight enforcement personnel and jurisdiction from the Division of Highways (DOH) to PSC effective October 1, 2003.

Q. What are some of the other important provisions of SB583?

A. Additional important provisions of SB 583 include:

  • Public Service Commission of West Virginia’s speed enforcement jurisdiction over all CMV’s
  • Mandatory safety check, if stopped for speeding
  • Triple fines for CRTS speeders
  • Toll free number: 1-866-SEE TRUX or 1-866-733-8789 for public reporting of suspected CRTS violations
  • Mandatory training requirement for CRTS drivers with less than two years driving experience: Drivers must take a 24 Hour training course before operating at increased weights on CRTS.
  • Over dimensional and ‘super load’ permitting remains at DOH.
  • 10% weight tolerance on non-CRTS roads designated to carry 80,000 lbs. Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) shall be in compliance with the Federal Bridge Formula on axle weights.  All requirements for vehicle length established under code will remain applicable.
  • Creation of an advisory committee to study CRTS data and make recommendations to the Governor.


2.  CRTS Permitting System

Q. How does one obtain the authority to haul increased weights of coal on the Coal Resource Transportation System (CRTS)?

A. Authority to haul increased weights of coal on the CRTS is obtained by applying to the PSC.  The application form and instructions are on the PSC website at http://www.psc.state.wv.us/

The application and fee should be sent to:

Public Service Commission of West Virginia
Permitting Section
1116 Quarrier Street
Charleston WV 25323

Phone: 304-340-0371 or 304-340-0846 or Toll-Free 1-800-344-5113 EXT 371 or EXT 846

Q. What are the maximum allowable weights allowed on the CRTS?

A. These weights will be determined on a road-by-road basis by the DOH.  Depending upon these designations, the maximum CRTS weights that can be hauled by specific vehicles are:

  •   2 axle dump truck
      Maximum GVW 80,000 lbs.*

  •   3 axle dump truck
      Maximum GVW 90,000 lbs.*

  •   5 axle tractor - semi trailer
       Maximum GVW 110,000 lbs.*

  •   6 axle tractor - semi trailer
       Maximum GVW 120,000 lbs.*


  • *5% tolerance. NOTE: DOH prescribed axel spacing still apply

Q. What are the fees for a CRTS hauling permit?

A. There is an annual fee and a processing fee associated with the CRTS hauling permit. See application instructions for fee calculation examples.

ANNUAL

2-axle Single Unit (dump) Truck = $100
3-axle Single Unit (dump) Truck; = $160
5-axle Tractor-Semi trailer Combo = $300
6-axle Tractor-Semi trailer Combo = $500

PROCESSING

$100 for first vehicle registered
$ 25 for each additional vehicle registered

Q. Who should apply for the CRTS hauling permit?

A. An application should be completed by the vehicle OWNER.  If it is a leased vehicle, the lessee is deemed to be the owner and should apply.  EXCEPTION: if lessee is also vehicle operator, the actual vehicle owner must apply.

Q. How long is the CRTS hauling permit valid?

A. The annual permit year runs from January 1 through December 31. Annual fees are pro-rated for partial year registrations.

Q. How will CMV’s with CRTS hauling permits be identified?

A. A CRTS permit sticker will be issued with each permit and is valid for up to one year. The CRTS sticker must be affixed immediately below window on driver’s door and remains with the vehicle upon transfer.

Q. What happens to the CRTS hauling permit if I sell the vehicle?

A. Permits are specific as to vehicle and vehicle owner.  If the CMV is sold, the new owner must apply for a MODIFIED permit ($25 fee) with written consent from the original owner. The permit’s expiration date remains the same.

 

3. Reporting Requirements

Q. Can you provide us with an overview of the reporting requirements under Senate Bill 583?

A. ALL SHIPPERS AND RECEIVERS OF COAL TRANSPORTED BY TRUCK ON THE CRTS must begin electronic reporting to the PSC’s Reporting Section by January 1 of each year. This information will be delivered by electronic transfer or manual entry reporting through the Internet to PSC. Shippers and receivers who lack the technology to connect electronically must provide the information through a manual feed web site.

Q. How many coal shippers and receivers are there in West Virginia?

A. Our research indicates the number of coal shippers and receivers could be as high as 600.  These include mine sites, coal preparation plants, load-out facilities, power plants and other locations that ship or receive coal by truck.

Q. What has the PSC done to comply with the requirements?

A. The agency has created a Reporting Section within the PSC Administrative Division.  This Section will be working with shippers and receivers to develop electronic connections throughout the state.  Another important function of the Reporting Section will be to conduct periodic inspections of weight records of both shippers and receivers.

Q. Can you provide more details about the electronic reporting process?

A. It will be the responsibility of coal shippers and receivers to provide the requested information to the PSC’s Reporting Section.  The Section will provide information and specifications to groups regarding what they must do to comply with the agency’s rules and regulations.

Q. Are all shippers and receivers required to report coal weights?

A. Yes, all shippers and receivers involved in the transportation of coal on West Virginia’s highways are required to make electronic reports to the PSC.  Hospitals, schools and residences are the only exemptions.

Q. When will shippers and receivers be required to begin the reporting process?

A. All coal shippers and receivers on the CRTS must begin electronic reporting to the PSC’s Reporting Section by October 1, 2003. All other coal shipments must begin electronic reporting by July 1, 2004.

Q. What information will the PSC require from shippers and receivers?

a. Site Transaction Number
b. Shipper Transaction Number
c. Shipper ID Number
d. Receiver ID Number
e. Source: Shipper, Receiver or Both
f. CRTS Permit Number
g. Shipment date & time
h. Gross Weight
i. CRTS shipment:All, Partial or None

Q. What happens if the shipper or receiver fails to report accurate or timely information?

A. Shippers and receivers who fail to report accurately or in a timely manner will be subject to a maximum fine of $100 per shipment.

Q. How do I obtain additional information about the reporting requirements?

A. You may contact:

PSC Reporting Section
PO Box 812
Charleston, WV 25302
Phone: 304-340-0813 or toll-free 866-733-8789

Q. How does the toll-free number for citizens to report truck safety concerns work?

A. A toll-free phone number is currently in place which allows citizens to call and report poor driving or law violations of truck drivers statewide.  The toll-free number is 1-866-SEE-TRUX or 1-866-733-8789.  Its hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by leaving a voice message after hours and on weekends.  Telephone operators obtain detailed information regarding each call.

Q. How is the information that is received through the toll-free hotline used?

A. Information from the toll-free phone will be shared with Weight Enforcement and Motor Carrier officers on a daily basis.  These officers will utilize the information to deploy enforcement resources.


4. Administrative Penalties and Processes

Q. Does SB 583 direct the PSC to impose administrative penalties for violation of the law?

A. Yes, mandatory administrative penalties, in addition to criminal penalties, must be imposed by the Commission. 

Q. What activities are subject to penalty?

A. The new law requires the Commission to impose penalties for violations that occur upon the CRTS.  As an example let’s assume that a coal truck has been issued a permit to operate on the CRTS.  A PSC inspector stops the permitted coal truck and finds that the truck is overweight by 10,000 lbs.  In that situation, mandatory penalties would be imposed upon the shipper, the driver and the owner of the vehicle.  The shipper would be fined based on the amount of excess weight of 10,000 lbs. times the statutory penalty of seven cents, for a total penalty of $700.  The driver will have his commercial driver’s license suspended for three days for the first offense, 30 days for the second offense and six months for the third offense.  The owner of the truck will have the permit to operate on the CRTS suspended for three days for the first offense, 30 days for the second offense and revoked for the third offense.

Q. How does the PSC intend to impose those penalties?

A. After an officer issues a violation in the field or when a violation appears as a result of the reports submitted by a shipper or receiver, the PSC will issue a Notice of Violation.  This will be in writing and sent to the shipper, owner and driver by certified mail or personal service.  The notice will inform them of the violation, the sanction to be imposed and their rights under the law.  Under certain circumstances the vehicle and its load can be impounded.

Q. Will the person who receives a Notice of Violation have the right to a hearing?

A. The alleged violator has 20 days after the receipt of the Notice of Violation to request a hearing at the PSC.  If the 20 days expire and a hearing is not requested, the sanctions will become effective.

Q. What is the hearing procedure at the PSC?

A. The Commission has attempted to construct a hearing process that is fair and accessible to alleged violators and at the same time maximize the efficient use of resources.

If a hearing is requested, the request will be sent to the Executive Secretary’s office which will give the request a case number designation.

The case will be forwarded to employees who are authorized to conduct initial hearings.  These initial hearings will be conducted by employees who are not necessarily attorneys.  The proceedings will be electronically recorded by audio and/or video equipment.  Hearings will be conducted in Charleston, WV.  Individuals can represent their own interests, or appear with an attorney.

Initial decisions will be in writing and signed.  These decisions become final orders of the Commission unless they are appealed.

Appeals of the initial decisions can be made to the Administrative Law Judge division by filing an appeal within 10 days of the initial decision. The case will be assigned to an administrative law judge who will review the initial decision and may adopt, modify or reject the initial decision.  At his or her discretion, the ALJ can conduct further hearings and will issue a final order containing findings of fact and conclusions of law.

If a violation is found as a result to these hearings the violator must pay the costs of the proceedings.

The violator may file an appeal of the PSC’s decision in the West Virginia Supreme Court by filing a petition within 30 days.

 

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