Program Authorization: R.S. 36:408(B)(1); R.S. 32:414; R.S. 30:2365; R.S. 51:579; R.S. 40:147; R.S. 40:1379.8; Act 435 of 1985; Act 83 of 1979; Act 522 of 1989 (R.S. 32:1711 et seq.); Hazardous Materials Information, Development, Preparedness and Response Act; Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act
The mission of the Traffic Enforcement Program is to ensure the safety and security of the people in the state through enforcement, education, and provision of other essential public safety services.
The goal of the Traffic Law Enforcement Program is to provide for safer highways statewide through enforcement and education.
The Traffic Enforcement Program includes the following activities: Troop Traffic Enforcement, Transportation and Environmental Safety Section, and Safety Enforcement.
Troop Traffic Enforcement essentially was established by Act 120 of 1922, which created the Office of the State Police and charged it with enforcing laws regulating the use of highways. Troopers assigned to troop locations are responsible for promoting highway safety through education and enforcement of the Highway Regulatory Act in addition to enforcing all criminal laws. Troopers assigned to troop locations primarily investigate vehicle crashes and protect the public both on and off the highway. (For a comparison of traffic trooper manpower in southeastern states, see the table under the Office of State Police agency description.)
The Transportation and Environmental Safety Section (TESS) of the Traffic Enforcement Program enforces regulations and requirements related to hazardous materials, motor carrier safety, towing and recovery, metal control, and explosives control, and weights and standards.
Hazardous Materials Reporting: The federal Hazardous Materials Information, Development, Preparedness and Response Act and the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) require that regulated businesses report on an annual basis the presence of hazardous substances at their places of business. These acts require the reporting of any releases of these substances into the environment. The TESS Right-to-Know Unit, functioning as the repository of this data, is charged with the collection, maintenance, and coordination of all data required by these acts and with ensuring public availability of this data as required by law.
Transportation of Hazardous Materials: Act 83 of 1979 authorizes and directs the Department of Public Safety to promulgate necessary rules and regulations and to oversee compliance governing the transportation of hazardous materials, freight, and passengers. The unit provides emergency response to chemical emergencies at industrial sites or sites related to transportation by highway, rail or pipeline. It further ensures that all carrier transportation meet standards of safe operation, manufacture, and maintenance. This is accomplished by roadside inspections conducted on commercial transport vehicles that transport hazardous freight, material, and passengers and by inspections of rail transportation facilities.
Motor Carrier Safety: The Motor Carrier Safety Program is an international, coordinated, and uniform program of inspection and enforcement activities related to intrastate and interstate commercial vehicles and drivers for safety violations. The program is designed to immediately place defective drivers and defective vehicles out of service, if necessary, until defects have been corrected. The agenda provides for safety and compliance reviews of transportation facilities, as mandated by federal rule. The laws governing the program allow for the assessment of civil penalties. One of the unit's major goals is to begin accident report development and revisions to correlate commercial accident data with motor carrier safety.
Right-To-Know: Act 435 of 1985 provides for the creation of the Hazardous Materials Information Development Preparedness and Response Advisory Board; provides administrative functions for the Department of Public Safety and Corrections; provides requirements for certain owners and operators of certain businesses to report information about certain hazardous materials; and creates the Hazardous Materials Information and Development Preparedness and Response Fund to be used to provide the functions as outlined in the act.
Towing and Recovery: Under the authority of Act 522 of 1989, the TESS Towing and Recovery Unit has the responsibility to regulate the towing and wrecker industry and provide rules and regulation pertaining to the towing and storage of vehicles. The unit monitors and regulates the industry statewide.
Metal Control: Under the authority of R.S. 51:579, the TESS is responsible for maintenance of records concerning all sales and purchases of certain precious metals. This is accomplished through the monitoring of the scrap and metal dealers in the state to ensure that proper records are kept.
Explosives Control: Under the authority of R.S. 40:147, the TESS is responsible for inspection of explosive materials storage magazines and investigation of theft or illegal possession of explosives. The TESS also provides specialized technical expertise and equipment (specifically bomb technicians who can defuse and dispose of a bomb) to local governments that may be confronted with the illegal use of explosives.
Weights and Standards: Under the authority of R.S. 40:1379.8, the TESS is responsible for enforcing weight, size, vehicle license and fuel tax regulations on all state and federal highways.
The Safety Enforcement Section is comprised of commissioned police officers who are responsible for enforcement of the driver's license suspension and liability insurance laws; administration of the Motor Vehicle Inspection Program; investigation of driver's license and vehicle title fraud complaints; auditing of commercial driver's license third party testers; and custodial duties for driver's license records for all Louisiana courts.
OBJECTIVES AND PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
1. In FY 1998-99, the Traffic Enforcement Program, through the Troop Traffic Enforcement activity, will increase criminal arrests by troopers on regular duty by 5% over FY 1996-97 level (3,346).
2. By June 1999, the Traffic Enforcement Program, through the Troop Traffic Enforcement activity, will increase compliance with compulsory insurance laws by 1% over FY 1997-98 level.
3. In FY 1998-99, the Traffic Enforcement Program, through the Troop Traffic Enforcement activity, will maintain an average of 24.9 miles patrolled per contact (crash investigations, ticket issuances, and motorist assists) in order to promote highway safety and protect the public.
1 This does not include accidents investigated by other law enforcement agencies.
2 Vehicle damage only, no injuries.
4. The Traffic Enforcement Program, through the Transportation and Environmental Safety Section activity, will reduce the number of fatal/serious injury commercial vehicle crashes by 5% by the year 2000.
1 Actual figure for FY 1996-97 is not yet available; actual for FY 1995-96 is 176.
5. The Traffic Enforcement Program, through the Transportation and Environmental Safety Section activity, will establish an efficient force to enforce weight and size restrictions during FY 1998-99.
1 New performance indicator for which data collection begins in FY 1997-98.
6. During FY 1998-99, the Traffic Enforcement Program, through the Transportation and Environmental Safety Section activity, will respond to all hazardous materials incidents under the jurisdiction of the section and maintain and coordinate all "Right-to-Know" hazardous materials activities.
7. In FY 1998-99, the Traffic Enforcement Program, through the Transportation Environmental Safety Section activities, will regulate the towing and wrecker industry statewide.
8. During FY 1998-99, the Traffic Enforcement Program, through the Transportation Environmental Safety Section activity, will increase the number of people receiving advanced training by 7%.
9. In FY 1998-99, the Traffic Enforcement Program, through the Transportation Environmental Safety Section activity, will maintain the existing inspection level of motor vehicle inspection level of motor vehicle inspection stations and other safety enforcement efforts.
1 Drivers license suspensions only; insurance cancellations were transferred to the Office of Motor Vehicles.
RESOURCE ALLOCATION FOR THE PROGRAM
SOURCE OF FUNDING
This program is funded with State General Fund, Interagency Transfers, Self-Generated Revenues, Statutory Dedications and Federal Funds. The Interagency Transfers are federal grants for specialized traffic enforcement from the Highway Safety Commission and the Department of Environmental Quality. The Self-Generated Revenue is primarily from a $5.50 assessment of all motor vehicle inspections and other motor vehicle fees. Other significant Self-Generated Revenue is from fees and fines from the Hazardous Materials Transportation and Motor Carrier Safety Program. The Statutory Dedications are derived from the Louisiana Transportation Trust Fund, Riverboat Gaming Enforcement Fund, Right-to-Know Fund, Weights and Standards Mobile Police Force Fund, and the Louisiana Towing and Recovery Fund. (Per R.S. 39:32B.(8), see table below for a listing of expenditures out of each statutory dedicated fund.) Federal Funds are from the Department of Transportation for the Motor Carrier Safety Program.
ANALYSIS OF RECOMMENDATION
The total means of financing for this program is recommended at 103.7% of the existing operating budget. It represents 82.0% of the total request ($50,041,815) for this program. Increases in this program are due to the salary increase for commissioned personnel, expansion of the Right-to-Know/Hazardous Material hotline, increased commercial vehicle enforcement and increases for weights and standards enforcement.
ACQUISITIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS
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