It seemed too good to be true. Improved road conditions on California’s long-battered highways and relaxed environmental conditions for trucking companies that could create more business opportunity. The conditions of California’s SB-1, The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, however have lead to a conflict of interest among residents and business owners – particularly those in the profession of trucking.  

SB-1, The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017

The Act means California gets a new road maintenance and rehabilitation plan, designed to improve both state highways and local streets.  According to the state’s legislative site, funding for this bill would come from a 12 cents a gallon tax on all motor vehicles, (Senate Bill No. 1 Chapter 5, 2017). While a 12 cent surcharge from fueling our cars and tractors may be hard to swallow at first, the rationalization stems from a less bumpy commute, a reduction in tire damage, and perhaps fewer road closures (with the caveat that they’re repaired). The intention to improve California’s road is a legitimate one – and especially for professional and nonprofessional drivers that commute on a regular basis – the outcome of the Act puts trucking companies in a difficult position.

The Trade-Off

With the passage of the Act, motor carriers will see a relaxation in environmental regulations such as emissions and the age of tractors that can operate in the state. The primary conflict of interest is that while road conditions will improve and relaxed conditions will allow trucking companies to grow, pollution will increase in a state already beset with a history of bad air.

The Future

The Act was approved by California Governor, Jerry Brown, on April 28, 2017.  As of now, the bill will provide $200,000,000 to improve road conditions throughout the state, (Senate Bill No. 1 Chapter 5, 2017). Those involved with improving tractor-related emissions and controlling pollution in the Ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland and San Diego will need to reassess their rules as they’re likely to change.


California (CA). Senate Bill No. 1 CHAPTER 5, Web. 01 May. 2017.