Alabama Towing & Recovery Association To host 24 Hour Hazardous Material Training May 20-22, 2011
HazMat training isnít just a good idea for emergency responders called to respond to releases or potential releases of hazardous materials for the purpose of stopping the release Ė itís actually required by OSHAís HAZWOPER standard (29CFR 1910.120).This course will include hands-on training that is geared for tow operators as emergency first responders. It is also the base for the complete 40 hour certification, which can be completed later by attending a 16 hour class.
Over three days topics covered will include procedures to identify, evaluate, and control hazardous materials; selection and use of appropriate personal protective equipment; understanding decontamination procedures; emergency response plans and incident management.
The course costs $300.00 for ATRA members and $350.00 for non-members.To register, send in a completed registration form for each student along with your payment to ATRA at 3400 Second Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35222.Registration is limited to the first 30 applicants and will close on May 13, so be sure to register now.
The 24 Hour Hazardous Materials Training course will be held at Weil Wrecker Service in Birmingham May 20, 21 and 22.The Friday session will begin at 5:00 p.m. If you have questions about the class that aren't answered here, you can call Steven Weil, Jr. at 205-251-4060. Please be sure to register as soon as possible, and call Steven Weil, Jr. if you want to register but may not have your registration submitted before May 13.
HB 100 Still a Potential Threat to Towing Companies
House Bill 100 proposes to enact a state law similar to many existing Safe Street Ordinances that have been passed by local municipalities. There is currently no state law enabling State Troopers to impound a vehicle that is operated by a driver without a license or insurance. This law would provide for such impoundments, but it contains procedures that could harm the operation of towing companies that provide towing services for law enforcement agencies. HB 100 requires the impounding agency, which is the law enforcement agency that impounded the vehicle, to send certified mail notifications to the owner and any lienholder of the impoundment within two working days. Should the impounding agency fail to send the notifications properly, they may not collect more than 15 days' storage fees on the vehicle. HB 100 would require the impounding agency and any towing company acting on its behalf to accept credit card payments. Additionally, vehicles impounded under this law would be held for 90 days and then sold by the impounding agency. The impounding agency would keep any proceeds from the sale after the towing and storage fees are paid. It may seem like this bill will not have any direct effect on towing companies. However, the notification and sale procedures set out in this bill would circumvent the existing abandoned vehicle procedures established in Section 32-13 of the Code of Alabama. Also, if the impounding agency fails to send out proper notifications, or if they are sent out after two working days, the towing company would not be able to collect more than 15 days' storage, even if the towing company followed correct abandoned vehicle procedures. While most municipalities would pay the towing companies for the towing and storage charges after the sale is conducted, this could eventually prove difficult for towing companies to collect. Please contact your House Representative to ask them to change the notification and sale procedures. You may also want to contact your local law enforcement agency and make sure they are aware of the extra work these proposed procedures would require. The Word document below is a sample letter you can send to your representative. Please print it on your own letterhead and address it to your area's representative. If you aren't sure who that is, you can find out on the Alabama Legislature web site: http://www.legislature.state.al.us/. If you click on the House tab near the top of the page, there is a line that says "FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE," and you can search by name, by zip code, or by district. If you would like to read the full text of the bill, you can look it up on this web site, too. Click on the Quick Link on the left side of the page labeled "LEGISLATION, CODE & CONSTITUTION." Then click on the line that says "Click Here to Visit ALISON" that will be near the bottom of the new page that opens. You can search bills by bill number and keywords.
House Bill 105 passed the Alabama House of Representatives on April 21, 2011. The Senate has read an identical bill, SB 73, but it has not been voted on in the Senate. If this bill is signed into law, tow trucks will be able to purchase vehicle licenses based solely on the gross vehicle weight of the truck without regard to the weight of the vehicle in tow. Because tow trucks have never been an individual class in the commercial truck tag regulations, the existing regulations have been interpreted several different ways over the last decade. This legislation would end the confusion surrounding the current rules and simplify the tag fee structure for tow operators. House Bill 56 has been passed by the Alabama House of Representatives and is currently waiting on further committee action to reconcile this bill with a similar bill passed by the Alabama Senate. The first draft of the bill that was read on March 1, 2011 contained a section that required any vehicle impounded under this proposed law to be held for 30 days before it could be released. ATRA was concerned that this could cause an additional 30 day delay in the abandoned vehicle process. Thanks to some quick work on the part of our lobbyist, David Lowery, and some of our members who reached out to the bill's sponsors, this section was removed from the bill. HB 56 will continue as an immigration enforcement bill that will still allow for vehicles to be impounded if they are operated in violation of this bill, but they will not have to be held for an additional 30 days.
Coming in 2011: There will be several hands-on classes coming this year, including heavy duty and light/medium duty training and abandoned motor vehicle processing. Also, ATRA would like to bring the class to you! We will be scheduling classes around the state in 2011. If you are interested in hosting a specific class, please email us at info@ALTowAssociation.org or call Steven at 205-542-3054.