Chapter 4923: MOTOR CARRIER OPERATIONS

4923.01 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(A) "Ambulance," "interstate commerce," "intrastate commerce," "motor vehicle," "public highway," "ridesharing arrangement," and "school bus" have the same meanings as in section 4921.01 of the Revised Code.

(B) "For-hire motor carrier" means a person engaged in the business of transporting persons or property by motor vehicle for compensation, except when engaged in any of the following in intrastate commerce:

(1) The transportation of persons in taxicabs in the usual taxicab service;

(2) The transportation of pupils in school busses operating to or from school sessions or school events;

(3) The transportation of farm supplies to the farm or farm products from farm to market or to food fabricating plants;

(4) The distribution of newspapers;

(5) The transportation of crude petroleum incidental to gathering from wells and delivery to destination by pipe line;

(6) The transportation of injured, ill, or deceased persons by hearse or ambulance;

(7) The transportation of compost (a combination of manure and sand or shredded bark mulch) or shredded bark mulch;

(8) The transportation of persons in a ridesharing arrangement when any fee charged each person so transported is in such amount as to recover only the person's share of the costs of operating the motor vehicle for such purpose;

(9) The operation of motor vehicles for contractors on public road work.

"For-hire motor carrier" includes the carrier's agents, officers, and representatives, as well as employees responsible for hiring, supervising, training, assigning, or dispatching drivers and employees concerned with the installation, inspection, and maintenance of motor-vehicle equipment and accessories.

Divisions (B)(1) to (9) of this section shall not be construed to relieve a person from compliance with rules adopted under division (A)(2) of section 4923.04 of the Revised Code, division (E) of section 4923.06 of the Revised Code, division (B) of section 4923.07 of the Revised Code, and section 4923.11 of the Revised Code, or from compliance with rules regarding commercial driver's licenses adopted under division (A)(1) of section 4923.04 of the Revised Code.

(C) "Motor carrier" means both a for-hire motor carrier and a private motor carrier.

(D) "Private motor carrier" means a person who is not a for-hire motor carrier but is engaged in the business of transporting persons or property by motor vehicle, except as provided in section 4923.02 of the Revised Code. "Private motor carrier" includes the carrier's agents, officers, and representatives, as well as employees responsible for hiring, supervising, training, assigning, or dispatching drivers and employees concerned with the installation, inspection, and maintenance of motor-vehicle equipment and accessories.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.

4923.02 Exemption from provisions of chapter.

(A) As used in this chapter, "private motor carrier" does not include a person when engaged in any of the following in intrastate commerce:

(1) The transportation of persons in taxicabs in the usual taxicab service;

(2) The transportation of pupils in school busses operating to or from school sessions or school events;

(3) The transportation of farm supplies to the farm or farm products from farm to market or to food fabricating plants;

(4) The distribution of newspapers;

(5) The transportation of crude petroleum incidental to gathering from wells and delivery to destination by pipe line;

(6) The transportation of injured, ill, or deceased persons by hearse or ambulance;

(7) The transportation of compost (a combination of manure and sand or shredded bark mulch) or shredded bark mulch;

(8) The transportation of persons in a ridesharing arrangement when any fee charged each person so transported is in such amount as to recover only the person's share of the costs of operating the motor vehicle for such purpose;

(9) The operation of motor vehicles for contractors on public road work.

(B) The public utilities commission may grant a motor carrier operating in intrastate commerce a temporary exemption from some or all of the provisions of this chapter and the rules adopted under it, when either of the following applies:

(1) The governor of this state has declared an emergency.

(2) The chairperson of the commission or the chairperson's designee has declared a transportation-specific emergency.

(C) The commission may adopt rules not incompatible with the requirements of the United States department of transportation to provide exemptions to motor carriers operating in intrastate commerce not otherwise identified in divisions (A) and (B) of this section.

(D) Divisions (A) to (C) of this section shall not be construed to relieve a person from compliance with either of the following:

(1) Rules adopted under division (A)(2) of section 4923.04 of the Revised Code, division (E) of section 4923.06 of the Revised Code, division (B) of section 4923.07 of the Revised Code, and section 4923.11 of the Revised Code;

(2) Rules regarding commercial driver's licenses adopted under division (A)(1) of section 4923.04 of the Revised Code.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.

4923.04 Rules applicable to transportation of persons, property, or hazardous materials; authority of commission to obtain warrant or subpoena.

(A)

(1) The public utilities commission shall adopt rules applicable to the transportation of persons or property by motor carriers operating in interstate and intrastate commerce.

(2) The commission shall adopt rules applicable to the highway transportation and offering for transportation of hazardous materials by motor carriers, and persons engaging in the highway transportation and offering for transportation of hazardous materials, operating in interstate or intrastate commerce.

(B) The rules adopted under division (A) of this section shall not be incompatible with the requirements of the United States department of transportation.

(C) To achieve the purposes of this chapter and to assist the commission in the performance of any of its powers or duties, the commission, either through the public utilities commissioners or employees authorized by it, may do either or both of the following:

(1) Apply for, and any judge of a court of record of competent jurisdiction may issue, an appropriate search warrant;

(2) Examine under oath, at the offices of the commission, any officer, agent, or employee of any person subject to this chapter. The commission, by subpoena, also may compel the attendance of a witness for the purpose of the examination and, by subpoena duces tecum, may compel the production of all books, contracts, records, and documents that relate to the transportation and offering for transportation of hazardous materials.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.

4923.06 Inspections.

(A) The public utilities commission may, through the commission's inspectors or other authorized employees, enter in or upon any motor vehicle of any motor carrier, or any person engaging in the transportation of hazardous material or hazardous waste, to inspect the motor vehicle or driver subject to rules adopted under section 4923.04 of the Revised Code.

(B) In order to assist the commission in performing its duties under this section, authorized employees of the state highway patrol of the department of public safety may conduct inspections of motor vehicles and drivers.

(C) Inspectors and employees authorized to conduct inspections under divisions (A) and (B) of this section may, under the direction of the commission, stop motor vehicles to inspect those vehicles and drivers to enforce compliance with rules adopted under section 4923.04 of the Revised Code.

(D) Inspectors and employees authorized to conduct inspections under divisions (A) and (B) of this section shall conduct inspections consistent with the North American standard inspection procedure of the commercial vehicle safety alliance and the standards of the United States department of transportation. The inspectors and employees may declare drivers and motor vehicles out-of-service consistent with this procedure and these standards.

(E) The commission may adopt rules to carry out this section that are not incompatible with the requirements of the United States department of transportation.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.

4923.07 Transporters of hazardous waste; authority to enter premises.

(A) The public utilities commission may, through the commission's inspectors or other authorized employees, enter in or upon the premises and motor vehicles of any motor carrier, or any person engaging in the transportation of hazardous material or hazardous waste, to examine any records, documents, or property for the purpose of assessing the safety, performance, and management controls associated with the carrier or person.

(B) The commission may adopt rules to carry out this section that are not incompatible with the requirements of the United States department of transportation.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.

4923.09 Cooperation with other state and federal authorities.

The public utilities commission shall cooperate with and permit the use of the services, records, and facilities of the commission as fully as practicable by appropriate officers of the United States department of transportation, other federal agencies or commissions, and appropriate commissions of other states in the enforcement and administration of state and federal laws relating to highway transportation by motor vehicles. The commission may enter into cooperative agreements with the United States department of transportation and any other federal agency or commission to enforce the safety laws and rules of this state and of the United States concerning highway transportation by motor vehicles. All grants-in-aid, cash, and reimbursements received by the commission pursuant to those cooperative agreements shall be deposited to the credit of the motor carrier safety fund created under section 4921.21 of the Revised Code.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.

4923.11 Rules regarding routing of hazardous materials.

The public utilities commission may adopt rules applicable to the highway routing of hazardous materials into, through, or within this state. Rules adopted under this section shall not be incompatible with requirements of the United States department of transportation.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.

4923.15 Violations; procedure.

Proceedings of the public utilities commission for the assessment of forfeitures for violations of Chapters 4921. and 4923. of the Revised Code are subject to and governed by section 4923.99 of the Revised Code. In all other respects in which the commission has power and authority under Chapters 4921. and 4923. of the Revised Code, applications and complaints may be made and filed with the commission, processes may be issued, hearings may be held, opinions, orders, and decisions may be made and filed, petitions for rehearing may be filed and acted upon, and all proceedings before the supreme court of this state may be considered and disposed of by that court in the manner, under the conditions, subject to the limitations, and with the effect specified in the sections of the Revised Code governing the supervision of public utilities by the commission.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.

4923.99 Forfeitures; injunctions; compliance orders.

(A)

(1) Whoever violates Chapter 4921. or 4923. of the Revised Code is liable to the state for a forfeiture of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars for each day of each violation. The public utilities commission, after providing reasonable notice and the opportunity for a hearing in accordance with the procedural rules adopted under section 4901.13 of the Revised Code, shall assess, by order, a forfeiture upon a person whom the commission determines, by a preponderance of the evidence, committed the violation. In determining the amount of the forfeiture for a violation discovered during a driver or motor-vehicle inspection under section 4923.06 of the Revised Code, the commission shall, to the extent practicable, not act in a manner incompatible with the requirements of the United States department of transportation, and, to the extent practicable, shall utilize a system comparable to the recommended civil-penalty procedure adopted by the commercial vehicle safety alliance. In determining the amount of the forfeiture for a violation discovered during a compliance review of a motor carrier under section 4923.07 of the Revised Code, the commission shall, to the extent practicable, not act in a manner incompatible with the civil-penalty guidelines of the United States department of transportation.

The attorney general, upon the written request of the commission, shall bring a civil action in the court of common pleas of Franklin county to collect a forfeiture assessed under this section. The commission shall account for the forfeitures collected under this section and pay them to the treasurer of state under section 4921.21 of the Revised Code.

(2) The attorney general, upon the written request of the commission, shall bring an action for injunctive relief in the court of common pleas of Franklin county against any person who has violated or is violating any order issued by the commission to secure compliance with any provision of Chapter 4921. or 4923. of the Revised Code. The court of common pleas of Franklin county has jurisdiction to and may grant preliminary and permanent injunctive relief upon a showing that the person against whom the action is brought has violated or is violating any such order. The court shall give precedence to such an action over all other cases.

(B) The amount of any forfeiture may be compromised at any time prior to collection of the forfeiture. The commission shall adopt rules governing the manner in which the amount of a forfeiture may be established by agreement prior to the hearing on the forfeiture before the commission.

(C) The proceedings of the commission specified in division (A) of this section are subject to and governed by Chapter 4903. of the Revised Code, except as otherwise specifically provided in this section. The court of appeals of Franklin county has exclusive, original jurisdiction to review, modify, or vacate an order of the commission issued to secure compliance with any provision of Chapter 4921. or 4923. of the Revised Code. The court of appeals shall hear and determine those appeals in the same manner, and under the same standards, as the supreme court hears and determines appeals under Chapter 4903. of the Revised Code. The judgment of the court of appeals is final and conclusive unless reversed, vacated, or modified on appeal. Such appeals may be taken either by the commission or the person to whom the compliance order or forfeiture assessment was issued and shall proceed as in the case of appeals in civil actions as provided in the rules of appellate procedure and Chapter 2505. of the Revised Code.

(D) Section 4903.11 of the Revised Code does not apply to an appeal of an order issued to secure compliance with Chapter 4921. or 4923. of the Revised Code or an order issued under division (A)(1) of this section assessing a forfeiture. Any person to whom any such order is issued who wishes to contest a compliance order, the fact of the violation, or the amount of the forfeiture shall file a notice of appeal, setting forth the order appealed from and the errors complained of, within sixty days after the entry of the order upon the journal of the commission. The notice of appeal shall be served, unless waived, upon the chairperson of the commission or, in the event of the chairperson's absence, upon any public utilities commissioner, or by leaving a copy at the office of the commission at Columbus. An order issued by the commission to secure compliance with Chapter 4921. or 4923. of the Revised Code or an order issued under division (A)(1) of this section assessing a forfeiture shall be reversed, vacated, or modified on appeal if, upon consideration of the record, the court is of the opinion that the order was unlawful or unreasonable.

(E) Only for such violations that constitute violations of the "Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act of 1990," 104 Stat. 3244, 49 U.S.C.A. App. 1804 and 1805, or regulations adopted under the act, the commission, in determining liability, shall use the same standard of culpability for civil forfeitures under this section as that set forth for civil penalties under section 12 of the "Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act of 1990," 104 Stat. 3244, 49 U.S.C.A. App. 1809. The commission shall consider the assessment considerations for civil penalties specified in regulations adopted under the "Hazardous Materials Transportation Act," 88 Stat. 2156 (1975), 49 U.S.C. 1801.

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.