§1314. Intermodal vehicle inspections
A. It is the purpose of this Section to insure that the proper preventative maintenance is performed on intermodal equipment and that all necessary repairs, as defined in the United States Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), are performed before such equipment is transported over the roadways of the state by a motor carrier.
B. For purposes of enforcing this Section, "vehicle" means intermodal trailer, chassis, or container not owned by the motor carrier.
C.(1) The owner of any vehicle shall not permit the tender or the interchange of a vehicle for use on any highway which is in violation of the requirements contained in the FMCSR. A motor carrier shall not certify or guarantee to a person tendering or interchanging a vehicle to a motor carrier that the vehicle complies with the FMCSR. When the tenderer has knowledge that the vehicle does not meet such requirements, the tenderer shall not put such vehicle into commerce until all necessary repairs have been completed.
(2) Before an operator may accept a vehicle, the tenderer must allow the motor carrier operator adequate equipment, time, and facilities to perform the United States Department of Transportation required inspection of the vehicle. If the vehicle fails to meet federal safety requirements, the owner or tenderer must make any necessary repairs to the vehicle so that it complies with applicable safety standards or make available a replacement vehicle which meets the safety requirements.
D. The department, if requested, may as a public safety service, enter upon vehicle tender facilities, and perform courtesy inspections of vehicles for purposes of identifying and tagging vehicles which may require mechanical work before being tendered for use on public highways.
E. If a vehicle that is not owned by the motor carrier is placed out of service as a result of a roadside inspection conducted within five days of initial placement of the vehicle in service from a tenderer by a motor carrier in this state or prior to the next interchange, whichever occurs first, then the owner of the vehicle shall reimburse the operator for all fines, penalties, expenses, and reasonable attorney fees incurred pursuant to the out-of-service order, including all equipment repair expenses necessary to bring the vehicle into compliance with the FMCSR, unless the fines, penalties, or repair expenses are due to actions or omissions of the motor carrier operator after the vehicle was tendered. Reimbursement must be made to the operator no later than sixty days from receipt of notice from the motor carrier.
F. The department shall develop and maintain a database on roadside vehicle inspection reports for defects on any vehicle tendered to the motor carrier. The database shall be used to identify violations discovered on intermodal equipment during a roadside inspection.
G. Nothing in this Section is intended to eliminate the responsibility and obligation of a motor carrier and operator to maintain and operate vehicles in accordance with the FMCSR and applicable state and local laws and regulations.
H. Any provision contained in an intermodal interchange contract providing for a hold harmless or indemnity agreement, or both, between the motor carrier and the tenderer or owner of a vehicle, contrary to any provisions of this Section shall be considered contrary to public policy and shall be null and void.
Acts 1999, No. 1362, §1, eff. July 12, 1999.