§ 62-259. Additional declaration of policy for motor carriers.
In addition to the declaration of policy set forth in G.S. 62-2 of Article 1 of Chapter 62, it is declared the policy of the State of North Carolina to preserve and continue all motor carrier transportation services now afforded this State; and to provide fair and impartial regulations of motor carriers in the use of the public highways in such a manner as to promote, in the interest of the public, the inherent advantages of highway transportation; to promote and preserve adequate economical and efficient service to all the communities of the State by motor carriers; to encourage and promote harmony among all carriers and to prevent discrimination, undue preferences or advantages, or unfair or destructive competitive practices between all carriers; to foster a coordinated statewide motor carrier service; and to conform with the national transportation policy and the federal motor carriers acts insofar as the same may be practical and adequate for application to intrastate commerce. The provisions of this section and these policies are applicable to bus companies and their rates and services only to the extent with which they are consistent with the provisions of G.S. 62-259.1 and of the Bus Regulatory Reform Act of 1985. (1947, c. 1008, s. 1; 1949, c. 1132, s. 2; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1; 1985, c. 676, s. 16.)
§ 62-259.1. Specific declaration of policy for bus companies.
The transportation of passengers, their baggage and express, by bus companies has become increasingly subject to competition from other forms of transportation which are unregulated or only partially regulated as to rates and services. It is in the public interest and it is the policy of this State that bus companies be partially deregulated so that they may rely upon competitive market forces to determine the best quality, variety and price of bus services, thereby promoting the public health, safety and welfare by strengthening and increasing the viability of this necessary form of transportation. (1985, c. 676, s. 17.)
§ 62-260. Exemptions from regulations.
(a) Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to include persons and vehicles engaged in one or more of the following services by motor vehicle if not engaged at the time in the transportation of other passengers or other property by motor vehicle for compensation:
(1) Transportation of passengers or household goods for or under the control of the State of North Carolina, or any political subdivision thereof, or any board, department or commission of the State, or any institution owned and supported by the State;
(2) Transportation of passengers by taxicabs when not carrying more than fifteen passengers or transportation by other motor vehicles performing bona fide taxicab service and not carrying more than fifteen passengers in a single vehicle at the same time when such taxicab or other vehicle performing bona fide taxicab service is not operated on a regular route or between termini; provided, no taxicab while operating over the regular route of a common carrier outside of a municipality and a residential and commercial zone adjacent thereto, as such zone may be determined by the Commission as provided in subdivision (8) of this subsection, shall solicit passengers along such route, but nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit a taxicab operator from picking up passengers along such route upon call, sign or signal from prospective passengers;
(3) Transportation by motor vehicles owned or operated by or on behalf of hotels while used exclusively for the transportation of hotel patronage between hotels and local railroad or other common carrier stations;
(4) Transportation of passengers to and from airports and passenger airline terminals when such transportation is incidental to transportation by aircraft;
(5) Transportation of passengers by trolley buses operated by electric power derived from a fixed overhead wire, furnishing local passenger transportation similar to street railway service;
(6) Transportation by motor vehicles used exclusively for the transportation of passengers to or from religious services or transportation of pupils and employees to and from private or parochial schools or transportation to and from functions for students and employees of private or parochial schools;
(7) Transportation of any bona fide employees to and from their place(s) of regular employment;
(8) Transportation of passengers when the movement is within a municipality exclusively, or within contiguous municipalities and within a residential and commercial zone adjacent to and a part of such municipality or contiguous municipalities; provided, the Commission shall have power in its discretion, in any particular case, to fix the limits of any such zone;
(9) through (17) Repealed by Session Laws 1995, c. 523, s. 16.
(18) Charter parties, as defined by this subdivision when such charter party is sponsored or organized by, and used by, any organized senior citizen group whose members are sixty (60) years of age or older. Such charter party shall be subject to subsections (f) and (g) of this section. "Charter party", for the purpose of this subdivision, means a group of persons who, pursuant to a common purpose and under a single contract, and at a fixed charge for the vehicle, have acquired the exclusive use of a passenger-carrying motor vehicle to travel together as a group from a point of origin to a specified destination or for a particular itinerary, either agreed upon in advance or modified by the chartering group after having left the place of origin.
(b) The Commission shall have jurisdiction to fix rates of carriers of passengers operating as described in (5) and (8) of subsection (a) of this section in the manner provided in this Chapter, and shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine controversies with respect to extensions and services, and the Commission's rules of practice shall include appropriate provisions for bringing such controversies before the Commission and for the hearing and determination of the same; provided nothing in this paragraph shall include taxicabs.
(c) The Commission may conduct investigations to determine whether any person purporting to operate under the exemption provisions of this section is, in fact, so operating, and make such orders as it deems necessary to enforce compliance with this section.
(d) The venue for any action commenced to enforce compliance with the terms of this Article against any person purporting to operate under any of the exemptions provided in this section shall be in one of the counties of the superior court district or set of districts as defined in G.S. 7A-41.1 wherein the violation is alleged to have taken place and such person shall be entitled to trial by jury.
(e) None of the provisions of this section nor any of the provisions of this Chapter shall be construed so as to prohibit or regulate the transportation of property by any motor carrier when the movement is within a municipality or within contiguous municipalities and within a zone adjacent to and commercially a part of such municipality or contiguous municipalities, as defined by the Commission. The Commission shall have the power in its discretion, in any particular case, to fix the limits of any such zone. Nothing herein shall be construed as an abridgment of the police powers of any municipality over such operation wholly within any such municipality. Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to prohibit or regulate the transportation of household effects of families from one residence to another by persons who do not hold themselves out as being, and are not generally engaged in the business of transporting such property for compensation.
(f) Notwithstanding the exemption for transportation of passengers and household goods provided under subsections (a) through (e) of this section, all motor carriers transporting passengers for compensation under said exemptions or under any special exemptions granted by the Utilities Commission under G.S. 62-261 shall be subject to the same requirements for security for protection of the public as are established for regulated motor common carriers by the rules of the Utilities Commission pursuant to G.S. 62-268, and all such motor carriers transporting for hire under said exemption provisions shall further be subject to the same requirements for safety of operation of said motor vehicles as are required of regulated motor common carriers under the provisions of Chapter 20 and the regulations of the Division adopted pursuant thereto. The Division is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations for the enforcement of said requirements in the case of all such exempt operations, and the officers and agents of the Division shall have full authority to inspect said exempt vehicles and to apply all enforcement regulations and penalties for violation of said security regulations and safety regulations as in the case of regulated motor carriers.
(g) The owners of all motor vehicles used in any transportation for compensation which is declared to be exempt under this section shall register such operation with the Division of Motor Vehicles and shall secure from the Division of Motor Vehicles a certificate of exemption. (1947, c. 1008, s. 4; 1949, c. 1132, s. 5; 1951, c. 987, s. 1; 1953, c. 1140, s. 2; 1955, c. 1194, ss. 1, 2; 1959, c. 102, c. 639, s. 15; 1963, c. 1165, c. 1; 1967, cc. 1135, 1203; 1969, c. 681; 1971, cc. 856, 1192; 1973, c. 175; 1977, c. 217; 1979, c. 204, s. 1; 1985, c. 454, ss. 9-11; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1037, s. 94; 1995, c. 523, s. 16.)
§ 62-261. Additional powers and duties of Commission applicable to motor vehicles.
The Commission is hereby vested with the following powers and duties:
(1) To supervise and regulate bus companies and to that end, the Commission may establish reasonable requirements with respect to continuous and adequate service, transportation of baggage, newspapers, mail and light express, uniform system of accounts, records and reports and preservation of records.
(2) To supervise the operation and safety of passenger bus stations in any manner necessary to promote harmony among the carriers using such stations and efficiency of service to the traveling public.
(3) Repealed by Session Laws 1985, c. 454, s. 12.
(4) For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Article, the Utilities Commission may avail itself of the special information of the Board of Transportation in promulgating safety requirements and in considering applications for certificates or permits with particular reference to conditions of the public highway or highways involved, and the ability of the said public highway or highways to carry added traffic; and the Board of Transportation, upon request of the Utilities Commission, shall furnish such information.
(5) The Commission may, without prior notice and hearing, make and enter any order, rule, regulation, or requirement, not affecting rates, upon unanimous finding by the Commission of the existence of an emergency and make such order, rule, regulation or requirement effective upon notice given to each affected motor carrier by registered mail, or by certified mail pending a hearing thereon as provided in this subdivision. It shall not be necessary for the Commission to give notice to the carriers affected or to hold a hearing prior to a revision in the rules regarding procedures to be followed in filing rates. Any such emergency order, rule, regulation or requirement shall be subject to continuation, modification, change, or revocation after notice and hearing and all such emergency orders, rules, regulations and requirements shall be supplanted and superseded by any final order, rule, regulation or requirement entered by the Commission.
(6) The Commission shall regulate brokers and make and enforce reasonable requirements respecting their licenses, financial responsibility, accounts, records, reports, operations and practices.
(7) Repealed by Session Laws 1985, c. 454, s. 12.
(8) To determine, upon its own motion, or upon motion by a motor carrier, or any other party in interest, whether the transportation of household goods in intrastate commerce performed by any motor carrier or class of motor carriers lawfully engaged in operation in this State is in fact of such nature, character, or quantity as not substantially to affect or impair uniform regulation by the Commission of transportation by motor carriers engaged in intrastate commerce. Upon so finding, the Commission shall issue a certificate of exemption to such motor carrier or class of motor carriers which, during the period such certificate shall remain effective and unrevoked, shall exempt such carrier or class of motor carriers from compliance with the provisions of this Article, and shall attach to such certificate such reasonable terms and conditions as the public interest may require. At any time after the issuance of any such certificate of exemption, the Commission may by order revoke all or any part thereof, if it shall find that the transportation in intrastate commerce performed by the carrier or class of carriers designated in such certificate will be, or shall have become, or is reasonably likely to become, or such nature, character, or quantity as in fact substantially to affect or impair uniform regulation by the Commission of intrastate transportation by motor carriers in effectuating the policy declared in this Chapter. Upon revocation of any such certificate, the Commission shall restore to the carrier or carriers affected thereby, without further proceedings, the authority, if any, to operate in intrastate commerce held by such carrier or carriers at the time the certificate of exemption pertaining to such carrier or carriers became effective. No certificate of exemption shall be denied, and no order of revocation shall be issued, under this paragraph, except after reasonable opportunity for hearing to interested parties.
(9) To inquire into the management of the business of motor carriers and into the management of business of persons controlling, controlled by or under common control with, motor carriers to the extent that such persons have a pecuniary interest in the business of one or more motor carriers, and the Commission shall keep itself informed as to the manner and method in which the same are conducted, and may obtain from such carriers and persons such information as the Commission deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this Article.
(10) Repealed by Session Laws 1985, c. 454, s. 12.
(11) The Commission may from time to time establish such just and reasonable classifications of groups of carriers included in the term "common carrier by motor vehicle" as the special nature of the service performed by such carriers shall require; and such just and reasonable rules, regulations, and requirements, consistent with the provisions of this Article, to be observed by such carriers so classified or grouped, as the Commission deems necessary or desirable in the public interest. (1947, c. 1008, s. 5; 1949, c. 1132, s. 6; 1953, c. 1140, s. 5; 1957, c. 65, s. 11; c. 1152, s. 7; 1961, c. 472, s. 9; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1; 1969, c. 723, s. 2; c. 763; 1973, c. 507, s. 5; 1985, c. 454, s. 12; c. 676, s. 18; 1995, c. 523, s. 17.)
§ 62-262. Applications and hearings other than for bus companies.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in G.S. 62-260[,] G.S. 62-262.1 and 62-265, no person shall engage in the transportation of passengers or household goods in intrastate commerce unless such person shall have applied to and obtained from the Commission a certificate authorizing such operations, and it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or wilfully to operate in intrastate commerce in any manner contrary to the provisions of this Article, or of the rules and regulations of the Commission. No certificate shall be amended so as to enlarge or in any manner extend the scope of operations of a motor carrier without complying with the provisions of this section.
(b) Upon the filing of an application for a certificate, the Commission shall, within a reasonable time, fix a time and place for hearing such application. The Commission shall from time to time prepare a truck calendar containing notice of such hearings, a copy of which shall be mailed to the applicant and to any other persons desiring it, upon payment of charges to be fixed by the Commission. The notice or calendar herein required shall be mailed at least 20 days prior to the date fixed for the hearing, but the failure of any person, other than applicant, to receive such notice or calendar shall not, for that reason, invalidate the action of the Commission in granting or denying the application.
(c) The Commission may, in its discretion, except where a regular calendar providing notice is issued, require the applicant to give notice of the time and place of such hearing together with a brief description of the purpose of said hearing and the exact route or routes and authority applied for, to be published not less than once each week for two successive weeks in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the territory proposed to be served. The Commission may in its discretion require the applicant to give such other and further notice in the form and manner prescribed by the Commission to the end that all interested parties and the general public may have full knowledge of such hearing and its purpose. If the Commission requires the applicant to give notice by publication, then a copy of such notice shall be immediately mailed by the applicant to the Commission, and upon receipt of same the chief clerk shall cause the copy of notice to be entered in the Commission's docket of pending proceedings. The applicant shall, prior to any hearing upon his application, be required to satisfy the Commission that such notice by publication has been duly made, and in addition to any other fees or costs required to be paid by the applicant, the applicant shall pay into the office of the Commission the cost of the notices herein required to be mailed by the Commission.
(d) Any motor carrier desiring to protest the granting of an application for a certificate, in whole, or in part, may become a party to such proceedings by filing with the Commission, not less than 10 days prior to the date fixed for the hearing, unless the time be extended by order of the Commission, its protest in writing under oath, containing a general statement of the grounds for such protest and the manner in which the protestant will be adversely affected by the granting of the application in whole or in part. Such protestant may also set forth in his protest its proposal, if any, to render either alone or in conjunction with other motor carriers, the service proposed by the applicant, either in whole or in part. Upon the filing of such protest it shall be the duty of the protestant to file three copies with the Commission, and the protestant shall certify that a copy of said protest has been delivered or mailed to the applicant or applicant's attorney. When no protest is filed with the Commission within the time herein limited, or as extended by order of the Commission, the Commission may proceed to decide the application on the basis of testimony taken at a hearing, or on the basis of information contained in the application and sworn affidavits, and make the necessary findings of fact and issue or decline to issue the certificate applied for without further notice. Persons other than motor carriers shall have the right to appear before the Commission and give evidence in favor of or against the granting of any application and with permission of the Commission may be accorded the right to examine and cross-examine witnesses.
(e) The burden of proof shall be upon the applicant for a certificate to show to the satisfaction of the Commission:
(1) That public convenience and necessity require the proposed service in addition to existing authorized transportation service, and
(2) That the applicant is fit, willing and able to properly perform the proposed service, and
(3) That the applicant is solvent and financially able to furnish adequate service on a continuing basis.
(f) to (h) Repealed by Session Laws 1985, c. 676, s. 19.
(i), (j) Repealed by Session Laws 1995, c. 523, s. 18.
(k) The Commission shall by general order, or rule, having regard for the public convenience and necessity, provide for the abandonment or permanent or temporary discontinuance of transportation service previously authorized in a certificate.
(l) The provisions of this section shall not be applicable to applications for certificates of authority by bus companies or related hearings. (1947, c. 1008, s. 11; 1949, c. 1132, s. 10; 1953, c. 825, s. 3; 1957, c. 1152, ss. 8, 9; 1959, c. 639, s. 11; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1; 1965, c. 214; 1981, c. 193, s. 4; 1985, c. 676, s. 19; 1995, c. 523, s. 18.)
§ 62-262.1. Certificates of authority for passenger operations by bus companies.
(a) Except as provided in G.S. 62-260, 62-262 and 62-265, no person shall engage in the transportation of passengers in intrastate commerce by motor vehicle without having applied for and obtained a certificate authorizing those operations from the Commission. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly or willfully operate in intrastate commerce in a manner contrary to the provisions of this Article or to the rules and regulations of the Commission. No certificate shall be amended to enlarge, or in any manner extend, the scope of operations of a bus company without complying with the provisions of this section.
(b) Any bus company desiring a certificate of authority to operate in intrastate commerce in this State over fixed routes, or to enlarge or in any manner extend the scope of its fixed route operations previously granted by the Commission, may do so by filing a verified application with the Commission and by paying the filing fee established by G.S. 62-300.
(c) The Commission shall issue a certificate of authority to an applicant for the transportation of passengers over a fixed route or to enlarge or extend authority previously granted, if the Commission finds that the applicant is fit, willing and able to provide the transportation to be authorized by the certificate and to comply with the provisions of this Chapter, unless the Commission finds, on the basis of evidence presented by any person objecting to the issuance of the certificate, that the transportation to be authorized is not consistent with the public interest.
(d) In making any findings relating to public interest under subsection (c) of this section, the Commission shall consider, to the extent applicable, (i) the transportation policy of this State as it relates to bus companies under G.S. 62-259.1 and this Chapter; (ii) the value of competition to the traveling and shipping public; (iii) the effect of issuance of the certificate on bus company service to small communities; and (iv) whether issuance of the certificate would impair the ability of any other fixed route carrier of passengers to provide a substantial portion of its fixed route passenger service, except that diversion of revenue or traffic from a fixed route carrier of passengers, alone, shall not be sufficient to support a finding that issuance of the certificate would impair the ability of the carrier to provide a substantial portion of its fixed route passenger service.
(e) Within 10 days after the filing of an application, the applicant shall provide notice to be given as required by Commission rule. If no protest, raising material issues of fact to the granting of the application, is filed with the Commission within 30 days after the notice is given, the Commission may, upon review of the record and without a hearing, issue its certificate of authority granting the requested operating authority, if it is satisfied that the applicant meets the requirements set forth in subsection (c) of this section.
(f) If protests are filed raising material issues of fact to the granting of the application, the Commission shall set the application for hearing, as soon as possible, and cause notice to be given as provided by its rules. At the hearing, the only issues for consideration are those set forth in subsections (c) and (d) of this section. The Commission shall issue its final order not later than 180 days after the application is filed.
(g) Any bus company authorized to transport passengers in intrastate commerce over fixed routes in this State and which in fact provides that service may, without filing a new application or paying further fees: (i) transport newspapers, express parcels or United States mail over the fixed routes on which it provides passenger transportation; (ii) provide charter operations to all points in the State; and (iii) transport charter passengers in the same motor vehicles with fixed route passengers.
(h) Any bus company seeking a certificate to engage solely in charter operations within the State, or to enlarge or in any manner extend the scope of its charter operations previously granted by the Commission, may obtain one by (i) filing a verified application for the authority with the Commission; (ii) paying the applicable filing fee as prescribed by G.S. 62-300; and (iii) demonstrating that it is fit, willing and able to perform the proposed charter operations.
(i) Within 10 days after filing of an application for charter operations, the applicant shall provide notice as required by Commission rule or regulation. If no protests to the granting of the application, raising material issues of fact, are received by the Commission within 30 days after the notice is given, the Commission shall issue its certificate granting the requested authority unless it determines that the applicant is unfit, unwilling or unable to perform the proposed operations. In the event of this determination, or if protests to the proposed operation raising material issues of fact are received, the Commission shall set the application for hearing, as soon as possible, and provide notice to be given as provided by its rules and shall issue its final order within 180 days after application is filed. At the hearing, the only issue for consideration shall be whether the applicant is fit, willing and able to perform the proposed charter operations and the issue of need shall not be considered. On the issue of its fitness, willingness and ability to perform the proposed charter operations, the applicant in its application and at any hearing shall present evidence from which the Commission may find that: (i) the applicant has sufficient assets to perform properly the proposed operations; (ii) the operation will be conducted only with properly qualified drivers; (iii) the applicant will maintain safe, clean and attractive buses and equipment; (iv) the applicant will maintain insurance for the protection of the public as provided in this Chapter; (v) the applicant has sufficient equipment to conduct the proposed operation; and (vi) the applicant will observe all applicable laws, rules and regulations of this State.
(j) Any bus company authorized and engaged solely in charter operations shall not be required to transport passengers over a fixed route in this State as an incidence to its charter operations. (1985, c. 676, s. 20.)
§ 62-262.2. Discontinuance or reduction in service.
(a) When a bus company proposes to discontinue service over any intrastate route or proposes to reduce its level of service to any points on a route to a level which is less than one trip per day (excluding Saturdays and Sundays), it shall petition the Commission for permission to do so. Within 10 days after the filing of a petition, the Commission shall require notice to be given.
(b) Any person or the Public Staff may object, to the Commission, to the granting of permission to any bus company to discontinue or reduce transportation under this section. If neither objects to the granting of permission to discontinue or reduce service under this section, within 30 days after the notice as required by subsection (a) of this section, the Commission may grant the permission based on the record and without hearing.
(c) If, within 30 days after the notice as required by subsection (a) of this section, any person or the Public Staff objects in writing to the Commission to granting of such permission, the Commission shall grant such permission unless the Commission finds as a fact, that the discontinuance or reduction in service is not consistent with the public interest or that continuing the transportation, without the proposed discontinuance or reduction, will not constitute an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce. In making a finding under this subsection, the Commission shall accord great weight to the extent to which the interstate and intrastate revenues from the transportation proposed to be reduced or discontinued are less than the variable costs of providing the transportation, including depreciation for revenue equipment. The Commission may also consider, to the extent applicable, all other factors which are to be considered by the Interstate Commerce Commission in a proceeding commenced under 49 U.S.C. § 10935. For the purposes of this section, the bus company filing a petition for permission to discontinue or reduce service shall have the burden of proving (i) the amount of its interstate and intrastate revenues received for transportation to, from or between, but not through, points on the involved intrastate route; and (ii) the system variable costs of providing the transportation.
(d) The Commission may make its determination with or without a public hearing. The Commission shall take final action upon the petition not later than 120 days after any written objections to the petition are filed.
(e) The provisions of G.S. 62-262(k) shall not be applicable to bus companies. (1985, c. 676, s. 21; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1024, s. 15.)
§ 62-263. Application for broker's license.
(a) No person shall engage in the business of a broker in intrastate operations within this State unless such person holds a broker's license issued by the Commission.
(b) The Commission shall prescribe the form of application and such reasonable requirements and information as may in its judgment be necessary.
(c) Upon the filing of an application for license the Commission may fix a time and place for the hearing of the application and require such notices, publications, or other service as it may prescribe by the general rule or regulation.
(d) A license shall be issued to any qualified applicant therefor authorizing the whole or any part of the operations covered by the application if it is found that the applicant is fit, willing and able properly to perform the service proposed and to conform to the provisions of this Article and the requirements, rules and regulations of the Commission thereunder, and that the proposed service, to the extent to be authorized by the license, is or will be consistent with the public interest and policy declared herein.
(e) The Commission shall have the same authority over persons operating under and holding a brokerage license as it has over motor carriers under this Article, and shall require a broker to furnish bond or other security approved by the Commission and sufficient for the protection of travelers by motor vehicle. (1949, c. 1132, s. 13; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1.)
§ 62-264: Repealed by Session Laws 1995, c. 523, s. 19.
§ 62-265. Emergency operating authority.
To meet unforeseen emergencies, the Commission may, upon its own initiative, or upon written request by any person, department or agency of the State, or of any county, city or town, with or without a hearing, grant appropriate authority to any owner of a duly licensed vehicle or vehicles, whether such owner holds a certificate or not, to transport passengers or household goods between such points, or within such area during the period of the emergency and to the extent necessary to relieve the same, as the Commission may fix in its order granting such authority; provided, that unless the emergency is declared by the General Assembly or under its authority, the Commission shall find from such request, or from its own knowledge or conditions, that a real emergency exists and that relief to the extent authorized in its order is immediate, pressing and necessary in the public interest, and that the carrier so authorized has the necessary equipment and is willing to perform the emergency service as prescribed by the order. In all cases, under this section, the Commission shall first afford the holders of certificates operating in the territory affected an opportunity to render the emergency service. Upon the termination of the emergency, the operating privileges so granted shall automatically expire and the Commission shall forthwith withdraw all operating privileges granted to any person under this section. (1947, c. 1008, s. 17; 1949, c. 1132, s. 17; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1; 1995, c. 523, s. 20.)
§ 62-266. Repealed by Session Laws 1985, c. 454, s. 13, effective June 24, 1985.
§ 62-267. Deviation from regular route operations.
(a) A common carrier of passengers by motor vehicle operating under a certificate issued by the Commission may occasionally deviate from the routes over which it is authorized to operate under the certificate, under such general or special rules and regulations as the Commission may prescribe.
(b) Repealed by Session Laws 1995, c. 523, s. 21.
(c) In no event shall the operation of empty equipment by any carrier over any route or highway be construed as a violation of the rights of any carrier. (1947, c. 1008, s. 18; 1949, c. 1132, s. 18; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1; 1995, c. 523, s. 21.)
§ 62-268. Security for protection of public; liability insurance.
No certificate or broker's license shall be issued or remain in force until the applicant shall have procured and filed with the Division of Motor Vehicles such security bond, insurance or self-insurance for the protection of the public as the Commission shall by regulation require. The Commission shall require that every motor carrier for which a certificate or license is required by the provisions of this Chapter, shall maintain liability insurance or satisfactory surety of at least fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and, subject to said limit for one person, one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident; and the Commission may require any greater amount of insurance as may be necessary for the protection of the public. Notwithstanding any rule or regulation to the contrary, the Commission shall not require that any insurance procured and filed be provided in any single policy of insurance or through a single insurer, if the insurers involved are otherwise qualified. A motor carrier may satisfy the requirements of the Commission by procuring insurance with coverage and limits of liability required by the Commission in one or more policies of insurance issued by one or more insurers.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section or Chapter, bus companies shall file with the Commission proof of financial responsibility in the form of bonds, policies of insurance, or shall qualify as a self insurer, with minimum levels of financial responsibility as prescribed for motor carriers of passengers pursuant to the provisions of 49 U.S.C. § 31138. Provided, further, that no bus company operating solely within the State of North Carolina and which is exempt from regulation under the provisions of G.S. 62-260(a)(7) shall be required to file with the Commission proof of the financial responsibility in excess of one million five hundred thousand dollars ($1,500,000). (1947, c. 1008, s. 19; 1949, c. 1132, s. 19; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1; 1973, c. 1206; 1977, c. 920; 1985, c. 454, s. 14; c. 676, s. 22; 1987, c. 374; 1995, c. 523, s. 22; 1998-217, s. 8.)
§ 62-269. Accounts, records and reports.
The Commission may prescribe the forms of any and all accounts, records and memoranda to be kept by motor carriers, brokers, and lessors, including the accounts, records, and memoranda of the movement of traffic, as well as of the receipts and expenditures of moneys; and it shall be unlawful for such carriers, brokers, and lessors, to keep any accounts, records, and memoranda contrary to any rules, regulations, or orders of the Commission with respect thereto. The Commission may issue orders specifying such operating, accounting, or financial papers, records, books, blanks, stubs, correspondence, or documents of motor carriers, brokers, or lessors, as may after a reasonable time be destroyed, and prescribing the length of time they shall be preserved. The Commission or its duly authorized special agents, accountants, or examiners shall at all times have access to and authority, under its order, to inspect and examine any and all lands, buildings, or equipment of motor carriers, brokers, and lessors; and shall have authority to inspect and copy any and all accounts, books, records, memoranda, correspondence, and other documents of such carriers, brokers, and lessors, and such accounts, books, records, memoranda, correspondence, and other documents of any person controlling, controlled by, or under common control with any such carrier, as the Commission deems relevant to such person's relation to or transactions with such carrier. Motor carriers, brokers, lessors, and persons shall submit their accounts, books, records, memoranda, correspondence, and other documents for the inspection and copying authorized by this section, and motor carriers, brokers, and lessors, shall submit their lands, buildings, and equipment for examination and inspection, to any duly authorized special agent, accountant, auditor, inspector, or examiner of the Commission upon demand and the display of proper credentials. (1947, c. 1008, s. 28; 1949, c. 1132, s. 25; 1959, c. 639, ss. 5, 6, 9, 10; 1961, c. 472, s. 10; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1.)
§ 62-270. Orders, notices, and service of process.
It shall be the duty of every motor carrier operating under a certificate issued under the provisions of this Article to file with the Division of Motor Vehicles a designation in writing of the name and post-office address of a person upon whom service of notices or orders may be made under this Article. Such designation may from time to time be changed by like writing similarly filed. Service of notice or orders in proceedings under this Article may be made upon a motor carrier by personal service upon it or upon the person so designated by it, or by registered mail, return receipt requested, or by certified mail with return receipt requested, addressed to it or to such person at the address filed. In proceedings before the Commission involving the lawfulness of rates, charges, classifications, or practices, service of notice upon the person or agent who has filed a tariff or schedule in behalf of such carrier shall be deemed to be due and sufficient service upon the carrier. (1947, c. 1008, s. 29; 1949, c. 1132, s. 26; 1957, c. 1152, ss. 6, 11; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1; 1985, c. 454, s. 15; 1995, c. 523, s. 23.)
§ 62-271. Collection of rates and charges of motor carriers of household goods.
No common carriers of household goods by motor vehicle shall deliver or relinquish possession at destination of any freight transported by it in intrastate commerce until all tariff rates and charges thereon have been paid, except under such rules and regulations as the Commission may from time to time prescribe to govern the settlement of all such rates and charges, including rules and regulations for weekly or monthly settlement, and to prevent unjust discrimination or undue preference or prejudice; provided, that the provisions of this section shall not be construed to prohibit any such carrier from extending credit in connection with rates and charges on freight transported for the United States, for any department, bureau, or agency thereof, or for the State, or political subdivision thereof. Where any common carrier by motor vehicle is instructed by a shipper or consignor to deliver household goods transported by such carrier to a consignee other than the shipper or consignor, such consignee shall not be legally liable for transportation charges in respect of the transportation of such household goods (beyond those billed against him at the time of delivery for which he is otherwise liable) which may be found to be due after the household goods have been delivered to him, if the consignee (i) is an agent only and had no beneficial title in the household goods, and (ii) prior to delivery of the household goods has notified the delivering carrier in writing of the fact of such agency and absence of beneficial title, and, in the case of shipment reconsigned or diverted to a point other than that specified in the original bill of lading, has also notified the delivering carrier in writing of the name and address of the beneficial owner of the household goods. In such cases the shipper and consignor, or, in the case of a shipment so reconsigned or diverted, the beneficial owner shall be liable for such additional charges, irrespective of any provisions to the contrary in the bill of lading or in the contract under which the shipment was made. If the consignee has given to the carrier erroneous information as to who is the beneficial owner, such consignee shall himself be liable for such additional charges, notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section. On shipments reconsigned or diverted by an agent who has furnished the carrier with a notice of agency and the proper name and address of the beneficial owner, and where such shipments are refused or abandoned at ultimate destination, the said beneficial owner shall be liable for all legally applicable charges in connection therewith. (1947, c. 1008, s. 31; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1; 1995, c. 523, s. 24.)
§ 62-272. Allowance to shippers for transportation services.
If the owner of household goods transported under the provisions of this Article directly or indirectly renders any service connected with such transportation, or furnishes any instrumentality used therein, the charge and allowance therefor shall be published in the tariffs or schedules filed in the manner provided in this Article and shall be no more than is just and reasonable; and the Commission may, after hearing on a complaint or on its own initiative, determine what is a reasonable charge as the maximum to be paid by the carrier or carriers for the services so rendered or for the use of the instrumentality so furnished, and fix the same by appropriate order. (1947, c. 1008, s. 32; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1; 1995, c. 523, s. 25.)
§ 62-273. Embezzlement of C.O.D. shipments.
Household goods received by any motor carrier to be transported in intrastate commerce and delivered upon collection on such delivery and remittance to the shipper of the sum of money stated in the shipping instructions to be collected and remitted to the shipper, and the money collected upon delivery of such party, are hereby declared to be held in trust by any carrier having possession thereof or the carrier making the delivery or collection, and upon failure of any such carrier to account for the household goods so received, either to the shipper to whom the collection is payable or the carrier making delivery to any carrier handling the household goods or making the collection, within 15 days after demand in writing by the shipper, or carrier, or upon failure of the delivering carrier to remit the sum so directed to be collected and remitted to the shipper, within 15 days after collection is made, shall be prima facie evidence that the household goods so received, or the funds so received, have been wilfully converted by such carrier to its own use, and the carrier so offending shall be guilty of a Class H felony and such carrier may be indicted, tried, and punished in the county in which such shipment was delivered to the carrier or in any other county into or through which such shipment was transported by such carrier. (1947, c. 1008, s. 33; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 1277; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1995, c. 523, s. 26.)
§ 62-273.1. Criminal history record checks of applicants for and current holders of certificate to transport household goods.
(a) The following definitions apply in this section:
(1) Applicant. - An individual, partnership, limited liability corporation, or corporation who applies for certification as a common carrier of household goods in the State of North Carolina.
(2) Certificate. - A certificate of exemption or a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the Utilities Commission to authorize the holder to engage in the intrastate transportation of household goods for compensation in the State of North Carolina.
(3) Criminal history. - A State or federal history of conviction of a crime, whether a misdemeanor or felony, that bears upon an applicant's or current holder's fitness to possess a certificate.
(4) Current holder. - An individual, partnership, limited liability corporation, or corporation who has been certified as a common carrier of household goods in the State of North Carolina.
(b) The Commission shall conduct a criminal history record check of applicants and current holders of a certificate to transport household goods. An applicant for or current holder of a certificate to transport household goods must furnish the Commission with a complete set of the applicant's fingerprints in a manner prescribed by the Commission. In those instances where the quality characteristic of an applicant's or current holder's fingerprints is determined to be too low or otherwise inadequate for processing by the FBI, the applicant or current holder shall comply with the Commission's criminal history record check requirement pursuant to the Commission's alternate name-based records check procedure.
(c) If the applicant's or current holder's verified criminal history record check reveals one or more convictions, the convictions shall not automatically constitute cause for denying an application or revoking a certificate. However, all of the following factors shall be considered by the Commission in determining whether the application should be denied or the certificate revoked:
(1) The level and seriousness of the crime.
(2) The date of the crime.
(3) The age of the person at the time of the conviction.
(4) The nature of the crime as it relates to the duties and responsibilities of a common carrier of household goods.
(5) The employment history of the person after the date the crime was committed.
(6) Any evidence of rehabilitation of the person after the date the crime was committed.
(d) The Commission may deny an application or revoke a certificate if the applicant or current holder refuses to consent to a criminal history record check or use of fingerprints or other identifying information required by the State or National Repositories of Criminal Histories. (2012-9, s. 1.)
§ 62-274. Evidence; joinder of surety.
No report by any carrier of any accident arising in the course of the operations of such carrier, made pursuant to any requirement of the Commission, and no report by the Commission of any investigation of any such accident, shall be admitted as evidence, or used for any other purpose in any suit or action for damages growing out of any matter mentioned in such report or investigation; nor shall the discharge by any carrier of any truck driver or other employee after any such accident be offered or admitted in evidence for any purpose, in any suit or action against such carrier for damages arising out of any such accident; nor shall any insurance company or surety executing any insurance policy, bond, or other security for the protection of the public, as provided in G.S. 62-268, or as provided in G.S. 62-112, be joined with the assured carrier in any action or suit for damages, debt, or claim thereby secured; nor shall evidence of any such policy, bond, or other security be offered or received in any such action or suit against the carrier, but the surety or insurer shall be obligated within the amount of such policy, bond or other security to pay any final judgment against the carrier. (1947, c. 1008, s. 34; 1949, c. 1132, s. 31; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1.)
§ 62-275. Repealed by Session Laws 1985, c. 676, s. 23, effective July 10, 1985.
§ 62-276. Construction of Article.
Nothing herein contained shall be construed to relieve any motor carrier from any regulation otherwise imposed by law or lawful authority, and this Article shall not be construed to relieve any such motor carrier from any obligation or duty imposed by Chapter 20 of the General Statutes of North Carolina. (1949, c. 1132, s. 35; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1.)
§ 62-277. Repealed by Session Laws 1985, c. 454, s. 16, effective June 24, 1985.
§ 62-278. Revocation of license plates by Utilities Commission.
(a) The license plates of any carrier of persons or household goods by motor vehicle for compensation may be revoked and removed from the vehicles of any such carrier for wilful violation of any provision of this Chapter, or for the wilful violation of any lawful rule or regulation made and promulgated by the Utilities Commission. To that end the Commission shall have power upon complaint or upon its own motion, after notice and hearing, to order the license plates of any such offending carrier revoked and removed from the vehicles of such carrier for a period not exceeding 30 days, and it shall be the duty of the Department of Motor Vehicles to execute such orders made by the Utilities Commission upon receipt of a certified copy of the same.
(b) This section shall be in addition to and independent of other provisions of law for the enforcement of the motor carrier laws of this State. (1951, c. 1120; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1; 1995, c. 523, s. 27.)
§ 62-279. Injunction for unlawful operations.
If any motor carrier, or any other person or corporation, shall operate a motor vehicle in violation of any provision of this Chapter applicable to motor carriers or motor vehicles generally, except as to the reasonableness of rates or charges and the discriminatory character thereof, or shall operate in violation of any rule, regulation, requirement or order of the Commission, or of any term or condition of any certificate, the Commission or any holder of a certificate duly issued by the Commission may apply to a superior court judge who has jurisdiction pursuant to G.S. 7A-47.1 or 7A-48 in the district or set of districts as defined in G.S. 7A-41.1 in which the motor carrier or other person or corporation so operates, for the enforcement of any provisions of this Article, or of any rule, regulation, requirement, order, term or condition of the Commission. Such court shall have jurisdiction to enforce obedience to this Article or to any rule, order, or decision of the Commission by a writ of injunction or other process, mandatory or otherwise, restraining such carrier, person or corporation, or its officers, agents, employees and representatives from further violation of this Article or of any rule, order, regulation, or decision of the Commission. (1947, c. 1008, s. 30; 1949, c. 1132, s. 30; 1953, c. 1140, s. 4; 1957, c. 1152, s. 16; 1961, c. 472, ss. 8, 11; 1963, c. 1165, s. 1; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1037, s. 95; 1995, c. 523, s. 28.)
§ 62-280. Household goods carrier; marking or identification of vehicles.
(a) No carrier of household goods shall operate any motor vehicle upon a highway, public street, or public vehicular area within the State in the transportation of household goods for compensation in violation of the provisions of G.S. 20-398.
(b) The Utilities Commission may assess a civil penalty not in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for the violation of subsection (a) of this section. The clear proceeds of any civil penalties collected pursuant to this subsection shall be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund in accordance with G.S. 115C-457.2. (2011-244, s. 2.)
§ 62-280.1. False representation of household goods carrier certificate unlawful.
(a) It is unlawful for a person not issued a certificate to operate as a carrier of household goods under the provisions of this Chapter to do any of the following:
(1) Orally, in writing, in print, or by sign, including the use of a vehicle placard, phone book, Internet, magazine, newspaper, billboard, or business card, or in any other manner, directly or by implication, represent that the person holds a certificate or is otherwise authorized to operate as a carrier of household goods in this State.
(2) Use in connection with the person's name or place of business any words, letters, abbreviations, or insignia indicating or implying that the person holds a certificate or is otherwise authorized to operate as a carrier of household goods in this State.
(b) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and punished only by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for the first offense and not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) for any subsequent offense.
(c) The Utilities Commission may assess a civil penalty not in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for the violation of subsection (a) of this section. The clear proceeds of any civil penalties collected pursuant to this subsection shall be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund in accordance with G.S. 115C-457.2. (2011-244, s. 2.)
§ 62-281. Repealed by Session Laws 1985, c. 454, s. 17, effective June 24, 1985.
§§ 62-282 through 62-289. Reserved for future codification purposes.