New Hampshire bills on the move include truck provisions

| 4/2/2008

Several bills of interest to truck drivers in New Hampshire are advancing through the statehouse. Among the bills focusing on the trucking industry is a measure that would give truckers a small helping hand.

The Senate recently approved a bill that would require law enforcement officers to allow a tolerance of 5 percent above certain specified weight limitations for vehicles on non-interstates and general highways.

Sen. Robert Letourneau, R-Derry, said truckers aren’t trying to sneak the extra weight through. Several things can occur during the course of transporting shipments, such as snow accumulation, that cause loads to push allowed limits, he said.

The bill – SB364 – is awaiting further consideration in the House Transportation Committee.

Two more bills that deal with trucking issues have gained passage in the House. The first bill would establish roadside inspection procedures for large trucks. Inspections could be carried out by highway patrol and enforcement officers or other law enforcement agents certified to conduct inspections.

Sponsored by Rep. Jordan Ulery, R-Hudson, the bill – HB1610 – also would make it a misdemeanor if the operator fails to stop or allow an inspection.

The other House-approved bill would remove the discretion of the courts to place on file, or otherwise mask, convictions incurred by commercial driver’s license holders in New Hampshire or other states. Deferred imposition and diversion programs would be included in the prohibition.

Sponsored by Rep. Robert Williams, D-Concord, the measure – HB1343 – would exempt parking tickets.

Incentive for New Hampshire to adopt the new rule is tied to federal funding. Failure to pass the bill would result in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration withholding $4.9 million from the state in fiscal year 2008 and $9.7 million each year thereafter until the provision is implemented.

Williams’ bill is in the Senate Transportation and Interstate Cooperation Committee. Ulery’s bill is awaiting assignment to committee in the Senate.

To view other legislative activities of interest for New Hampshire, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor