Call to Order and Roll Call
The2nd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation was held on<Day> Tuesday, July 5, 2016, at 1:00 PM, in Room 171 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Ernie Harris, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll. The minutes from the June 7, 2016 meeting were approved.
Members:Senator Ernie Harris, Co-Chair; Representative Hubert Collins, Co-Chair; Senators Joe Bowen, Jared Carpenter, C.B. Embry Jr., Jimmy Higdon, Gerald A. Neal, Albert Robinson, Brandon Smith, Johnny Ray Turner, and Whitney Westerfield; Representatives Tim Couch, Donna Mayfield, Tom McKee, Russ A. Meyer, Charles Miller, Jerry T. Miller, Terry Mills, Rick G. Nelson, Marie Rader, Steve Riggs, Sal Santoro, John Short, Arnold Simpson, Diane St. Onge, Fitz Steele, Jim Stewart III, Tommy Turner, and Addia Wuchner. Senator Dorsey Ridley and Representative David Watkins attended the meeting via telephone conference.
Guests: John-Mark Hack, Commissioner, Department of Vehicle Regulation, KYTC, Godwin Onodu, Assistant Director, Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing, KYTC, Heather Stout, Executive Director, Office of Information Technology, KYTC, Jay Grundy, Lebanon City Council, Stevie Stewart, cousin of Representative Jim Stewart, and Louie Emmons.
Registration of Surplus Military HMMWVs in Secondary Public Market
John-Mark Hack, Commissioner, Department of Vehicle Regulation, KYTC, Godwin Onodu, Assistant Director, Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing, KYTC, discussed the issue of surplus military high mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs) that are currently hitting the secondary public market. Commissioner Hack stated that in 2012 the federal government approved HMMWVs to be donated, transferred or sold to local law enforcement and fire department agencies for use in emergencies. KRS 186.060 permits registration of such vehicles for governmental units or emergency and ambulance nonprofits organized by units of government. In December 2014, the Department of Defense began auctioning used HMMWVs to the general public for off-road use only.
Commissioner Hack stated there have been three citizen inquiries from Bourbon County, Marion County and Monroe County as to private citizens owning the HMMWVs and registering them for highway use. The manufacturer states that the 16-inch ground clearance of the HMMWV is an engineering feat, considering the vehicle stands only 72-inches high. Full-time four-wheel drive, independent suspension, steep approach and departure angles, 60 percent slope-climbing, 40 percent side slope and 60-inch water-fording capabilities combine with the high ground clearance makes the HMMWV an exceptional off-road vehicle. The vehicles are demilitarized prior to the Department of Defense sale, but DoD sells to the general public by identifying the vehicle as being for off-road use only. Commissioner Hack stated that KRS 189.860 states that off-road vehicle means a motor vehicle capable of cross-country travel, without the benefit of a road or trail. It does not include a farm vehicle, a vehicle used for military or law enforcement purposes, a vehicle used in construction, mining, or other industrial-related purposes, aircraft, or any other vehicle registered under state law. No person shall operate an off-road vehicle on any private or public property without the consent of the landowner, tenant, or governmental agency responsible for the property. Those registered to law enforcement agencies in Kentucky used an official license plate.
Commissioner Hack stated that key considerations were that military configurations do not meet federal motor vehicle safety standards. Also, in cases of federal donations to eligible agencies, such agencies must sign a “hold harmless” agreement that includes the following statement: “extra operator competence and caution should be exercised in the operation and use of this vehicle outside the design specifications because the vehicle does not comply with federal motor vehicle safety standards and is designed for use under conditions unique to the Department of Defense. In accepting the transfer/donation, the undersigned acknowledges that there may be hazards associated with the use of the vehicle.” Recipient agencies must provide appropriate operator training.
He added that other considerations were that Kentucky certified inspectors do not inspect mechanics of a vehicle, instead focusing attention on VIN verification and odometer readings per KRS 186A.115(4). De-militarized HMMWV’s are not being certified by the original manufacturer as road worthy. Surrounding states that do not register HMMWVs for road use include Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, Missouri, and West Virginia. The cabinet is awaiting response from Illinois. Tennessee allows registration and titling on condition of issuing a Tennessee VIN plate.
In response to a question Senator Higdon asked, Mr. Onodu stated the cabinet is awaiting more information about Tennessee and its policies on this issue. HMMWVs must be demilitarized and must go through safety inspections as well as the VIN must be relinquished, but he is awaiting further information on the subject.
In response to a question asked by Chairman Harris, Commissioner Hack stated the vehicles will be looked into and made sure that they are compliant with federal regulations before they are deemed road worthy.
In response to a question asked by Co-Chair Collins, Commissioner Hack stated he has observed the disclaimer statements that are required, as well as the hold harmless agreements that must be signed by the receiving agencies of the vehicles and added that he does not feel qualified to give an opinion on the allowance of these vehicles becoming road worthy although it does give him some pause. He added that some people may want the HMMWVs to be deemed road worthy due to their powerful, versatile nature and their capabilities as an overall vehicle. Co-Chair Collins voiced his concern for the safety of other vehicles if the HMMWVs were allowed on the roadway.
In response to a question asked by Representative Wuchner concerning a standard list of modifications needed for HMMWVs to become road worthy, Commissioner Hack stated KRS gives a specific list of vehicle characteristics that have to be met for a vehicle to be deemed road worthy. One criteria that the department goes by is the manufacturer’s original intent of the vehicle, even if the vehicle is modified to be able to be used on the road. Mr. Onodu stated if modifications are made, the vehicle specifications are sent back to the original manufacturer. Its determination whether the vehicle has been made road worthy will be taken into consideration.
In response to a question asked by Representative Jerry Miller, Commissioner Hack stated he is unsure if insurance companies will insure these vehicles. Representative Miller also voiced his concerns of the possibilities of dangers that having HMMWVs on the road would pose.
Senator Bowen cautioned the committee that special mechanics and skill sets are needed to work on HMMWVs.
In response to a question asked by Representative Mills concerning the role the federal government would play in Kentucky changing the statutes or regulations to allow the HMMWVs to become road worthy, Commissioner Hack stated at this time it is unclear the role the federal government will play.
Mr. Louie Emmons, concerned citizen spoke in favor of allowing HMMWVs to become road worthy stating his personal wishes to own one himself. He referenced documentation from other states, such as Utah, that have registered these vehicles for highway use.
Representative McKee inquired about the cost difference between a commercially available Hummer and a Military Surplus HMMWV. Mr. Emmons replied that the cost difference is approximately $100,000. As to speed, Mr. Emmons stated they go approximately 60 MPH.
Chairman Harris stated if the requirements can be met to deem these vehicles road worthy, he takes no issue with allowing them to be put on the road.
Mr. Jay Grundy spoke in favor of allowing the HMMWVs to become road worthy. He stated if a vehicle conforms to all of the federal guidelines, then he is unsure how it cannot be allowed to be licensed for on road use.
Update on KAVIS Vehicle Information Program
Heather Stout, Executive Director, Office of Information Technology, KYTC updated the Committee on the progress of KAVIS. She stated the KAVIS:2 approach has two objectives: to enhance the use of AVIS minimally through interfaces to gain benefits for citizens and stakeholders; and to replace AVIS gradually through implementation of modules.
Director Stout stated the print on demand decal and scanning was fully implemented in May, 2015. The cabinet received the AAMVA Regional Award: Improvement through efficiencies Award for Kentucky’s print on demand decal project. There has been a process improvement in title approvals from the original 41 days it took to now only taking one day. The new web renewal site deployed fall 2015, and an enhanced web renewal will be deployed in the spring 2016.
Director Stout stated the future objectives of the project include automating web renewal for Clerks, fleet renewal improvements, temporary tag system improvements and a centralized issuance of license plates. The benefits of a modular approach include the ability to roll out smaller pieces over time, incrementally remove functionality from AVIS, a minimized risk, the enhancement of data cleansing and conversion, enabling the cabinet to focus for training efforts and the ability to organize by vehicle type and volume.
Director Stout stated module one, disabled placards, is complete. The cabinet is working on pieces of software after each sprint and is focused on value-added functionality. Because of the modular approach, there will be multiple releases and which increases functionality, decreases complexity and increases the credibility of the agile process. The next module, boat titling, will encompass new areas such as ad valorem taxes, fees, and liens, which will be transferrable to other modules such as motor vehicles and commercial vehicles.
Director Stout stated the cabinet is maximizing the success replacing AVIS by having project management reviews throughout the process including KiZAN process guidance. KiZAN was hired by the cabinet to assist in overseeing and implementing the process. KiZAN has indicated the project team is self-correcting, and its guidance is no longer needed. The cabinet is seeing independent verification and validation through the Commonwealth Office of Technology, which has provided very positive feedback and stated the KAVIS: 2 team could serve as a good model/example for other Commonwealth teams and organizations of the agile discipline at work.
The cabinet has further maximized success on replacing AVIS by having Microsoft technical assessments done in which technical recommendations are being implemented. The “scrum” process (an iterative and incremental agile software development framework for managing product development) is run effectively and the solution architecture is sound. The production infrastructure hosting the application is adequately sized. The code metrics analysis has found that most code elements have good maintainability with exception of two with moderate maintainability.
The issues and risks that have arisen in the challenge to replace AVIS include the time requirement needed of the clerks to implement the new process, the buy-in needed of stakeholders, the challenge of adhering to the guiding principles, the acceptance of the agile methodology, the decentralized execution, sharing resources, scheduling issues and assessment service issues.
Ms. Stout stated the positive momentum in going forward to replace AVIS involves a highly motivated team which has a sense of pride and will to prove their capabilities to complete the task. The resources, both existing and new, have formed into a cohesive team and feedback on work completed thus far has been positive. The project has encouraging and supportive stakeholders that accepted the modular approach easily. A working committee that includes various stakeholders meets weekly to validate requirements of the process and program.
Ms. Stout stated there was an initial $11,295, 013 budget for the project. KAVIS; 2 began in January of 2015 and $2,679,106 was spent from January 2015 to May, 2016. She added that $4,292,188 was returned from the previous vendor, 3M, which brings the remaining balance for the project to be $12,952,820, which is more funds than KAVIS: 2 began with.
Chairman Harris praised the cabinet for their ability to rectify the project with a new approach after 3M’s failed methodology. The committee echoed those sentiments. Chairman Harris announced the next meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation to be August 2, 2016.
With no further business, the chairman adjourned the meeting at 2:04 P.M.