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Hotline Starts for Illegal Farm Vehicles

From a Times Staff Writer

The California Highway Patrol on Monday announced a toll-free hotline on which farm workers, motorists and others can report the illegal operation of agricultural labor vehicles.

The phone number, connected to the CHP’s newly expanded farm labor strike force in Fresno, is (800) TELL-CHP.

The hotline was part of a legislative response to a traffic crash in the San Joaquin Valley on Aug. 9, in which 13 migrant workers were killed when the overcrowded van in which they were riding slammed into a tractor-trailer.

CHP Commissioner D.O. “Spike” Helmick and Assemblyman Dean Florez (D-Shafter), who carried the legislation, said citizens can be anonymous when they call the hotline, in English or Spanish.

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The new law also requires farm labor vans and buses to be equipped with passenger seat belts and receive an annual safety certification. In addition, it calls for hiring 10 CHP officers to enforce farm labor vehicle safety rules.


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