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Changes are coming to California’s Biennial Inspection of Terminal (BIT) program.  Based on Governor Brown having signed AB 529 last October, some key aspects of the program, including who is required to participate, will change. In addition to those WFA members already subject to the California BIT program, smaller vehicles and combinations as detailed in the California Vehicle Code 34500 (j) and 34500 (k), such as 2 axle trucks, or truck and trailer combinations exceeding 10,000 manufacturers gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) will be subject in the new 2016 regulations. Basically, California’s laws, which have long stood as an outlier from the rest of the United States, will be modified to closer mirror federal regulations when it comes to priority selection systems, methodologies and performance data analysis.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, California Highway Patrol is required to implement a performance-based truck terminal inspection priority system similar to that of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The new system will place priority on motor carrier terminals that have never before been inspected. As part of the new mandate, CHP must create a database to track performance-based information, such as accident information, citations, and roadside inspection history.

The new law mandates:

The department shall adopt rules and regulations establishing a performance-based truck terminal inspection selection priority system. In adopting the system’s rules and regulations, the department shall incorporate methodologies consistent with those used by the FMCSA, including those related to the quantitative analysis of safety-related motor carrier performance data, collected during the course of inspection or enforcement contact by authorized representatives of the department or any authorized federal, state, or local safety official, in categories, including, but not limited to, driver fatigue, driver fitness, vehicle maintenance, and controlled substances and alcohol use.

Though its meaning is changing from Biennial Inspection of Terminal program to Basic Inspection of Terminal program, the BIT acronym will remain.

Read the full bill text.

How does this help you?

One of the good things about the new legislation is that it does away with the mandatory terminal inspection every 25 months. Because inspections will be based on need, targeting poor performing companies for BIT audit, those who demonstrate good safety management practices are allowed up to six years between terminal inspections.

Some helpful links:

The FMCSA Education & Technical Assistance Program manual is a huge (literally – 162 pages) resource and provides several official key forms such as driver qualifications checklist, employment application, medical examiner’s report, driver’s daily log, and levels of inspection.

The FMCSA website provides information on federal regulations.

California Highway Patrol has an informative website. They also offer free educational safety seminars as part of the Commercial Industry Education Program.