SECTION 4.14. Municipal and County Certification Requirements  


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  • (a) Certain peace officers from an authorized municipality or county may be trained and certified to enforce the federal safety regulations provided the municipality or county:

    (1) executes a Memorandum of Understanding with the department concerning the working policies and procedures of the inspection program whereby the resources of all agencies will be maximized, duplication of efforts will be minimized, and uniformity in the inspection program will be maintained;

    (2) implements a program that ensures only their certified officers are conducting the inspections, utilizing only department approved forms, and following the inspection program guidelines approved by the department;

    (3) implements a program that ensures their officers perform the required number of inspections annually and successfully complete the required annual certification training to maintain the officers' certification;

    (4) agrees to immediately suspend, from performing commercial vehicle inspection and enforcement activities, authorized in this chapter, any officer that fails to maintain their certification or that fails to perform the inspections following the guidelines approved by the department;

    (5) agrees to notify the department within 10 days of a change in an officer's certification and provides a list to the department by January 31st of each year of the officers that have been suspended and are no longer certified;

    (6) provides all roadside inspection data to the department through electronic systems that are compatible with the department's system within 10 days of the inspection, and forwards paper copies immediately thereafter;

    (7) agrees to forward crash reports involving commercial motor vehicles to the Texas Department of Transportation no later than 10 days after the date of the crash investigation;

    (8) agrees to investigate and determine whether a correction to the data needs to be made when that data is challenged; to notify the motor carrier and the department in writing of the results of the investigation within 10 days; and then to make any needed corrections and forward the corrected reports to the department immediately;

    (9) acknowledges that the department may conduct random in-person observation of inspections conducted in order to ensure that the officers maintain practical proficiency in the commercial vehicle inspection program;

    (10) acknowledges that the primary purpose of certification to enforce federal safety regulations is to improve commercial vehicle safety and ensure voluntary compliance with applicable laws and regulations;

    (11) acknowledges that certification to enforce federal safety regulations may not be used as a primary method to generate program revenue through enforcement penalties or enhance criminal interdiction activities; and

    (12) acknowledges that officers certified to enforce federal safety regulations will not participate in secondary employment activities that present a conflict of interest related to their commercial vehicle enforcement duties.

    (b) Non-compliance with the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding or the training, officer certification, or data-sharing requirements by the municipality or county, including timeliness of reporting data, or any other provision of this section, will constitute grounds to decertify the municipality's or county's authority to enforce the federal safety regulations.

    (c) The failure of a municipality or county to show activity to the department within a six (6) month period will constitute grounds to decertify the municipality or county.

    (d) Each municipality or county that has peace officers trained and certified to enforce the federal safety regulations shall be required to update and renew their Memorandum of Understanding with the department every two years on a staggered schedule to be determined by the department. If the initial Memorandum of Understanding with the department does not have an effective date shown, then the effective date shall be the date of acceptance by the department.

    (e) In determining whether a municipality meets the population threshold requirements of Texas Transportation Code, §644.101, the department will use either:

    (1) the most recent federal decennial census, or

    (2) a resolution or proclamation issued under the authority of the governing body of the municipality that attests and certifies that the population of the municipality, including the authorized extraterritorial jurisdiction of the municipality, meets or exceeds the population threshold amounts listed in Texas Transportation Code, §644.101.

Source Note: The provisions of this §4.14 adopted to be effective March 9, 2004, 29 TexReg 2376; amended to be effective January 4, 2005, 29 TexReg 12235; amended to be effective May 22, 2005, 30 TexReg 3031; amended to be effective May 30, 2006, 31 TexReg 4442; amended to be effective October 1, 2006, 31 TexReg 8109; amended to be effective June 11, 2008, 33 TexReg 4527; amended to be effective May 10, 2011, 36 TexReg 2995; amended to be effective June 26, 2012, 37 TexReg 4602