Missouri Senate advances truck-related provisions

| 4/28/2008

A bill halfway through the Missouri General Assembly includes several provisions of interest to truck drivers. Among those provisions are authorization of heavier trucks and allowing local enforcement of truck rules.

The state’s Senate voted to advance a bill to the House after adding a provision that would authorize heavier vehicles on two roadways. The total gross weight of vehicles allowed on U.S. 65 or U.S. 36 highways would be increased from 80,000 pounds to 85,500 pounds.

Another provision would revise the procedure for conducting roadside inspections of large trucks. A program would be set up to certify local law enforcement officers to enforce commercial motor vehicle laws.

Certified law enforcement officers could conduct random roadside examinations or inspections to determine compliance with the CMV weight and size limit laws. Officers who are not certified still could pull over large trucks with a “visible external safety defect.”

Commercial driver’s license holders who fail to appear or to pay would lose their driving privileges until they fulfill their obligations.

A separate provision added on the Senate floor would authorize the state to implement and administer the Unified Carrier Registration Act. It is a federal act intended to replace the Single State Registration System.

UCR is a plan that will have a fee structure that goes from the per-truck basis to a per-carrier basis and will be the same for all member states. Truckers will no longer have to pick and choose states, as they do with the SSRS. One fee will cover all states.

Another provision would prohibit indemnity agreements in motor carrier transportation contracts that claim “to indemnify a party against loss from negligence or intentional acts void and unenforceable.”

The bill – SB761 – has moved to the House Transportation Committee.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Missouri in 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor