Oklahoma lawmakers advance bills that cover truck enforcement

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 3/11/2014

Multiple bills on the move at the Oklahoma statehouse cover truck enforcement, certain overload permits and truck fees.

One bill awaiting consideration on the Senate floor is intended to remove a “double standard” with how the state handles truck enforcement. Currently, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and the Highway Patrol can stop truckers.

Sponsored by Sen. Mark Allen, R-Spiro, the bill would create a port-of-entry officers division within the Department of Public Safety.

“I’m trying to level the playing field and create one standard to go by instead of the OCC stopping you in one place and OHP stopping you at another place,” Allen recently told Land Line.

Time is running out for the bill to advance from the Senate. The deadline for bills to advance from their originating chamber is Thursday, March 13. If approved, SB1571 would advance to the House for further consideration.

The Senate already approved another bill from Allen that covers the authority to weigh large vehicles.

Currently, the Department of Public Safety, the Corporation Commission, and sheriffs and deputies can enforce truck weights.

The bill would permit sheriffs or deputies to continue as long as enforcement doesn’t “exceed the scope of authority of standards for size and weight enforcement” set by the Department of Public Safety, which includes the number of citations issued per offense.

SB1458 is awaiting assignment to committee in the House.

A separate Senate-approved bill would increase the area that truck enforcement can patrol. SB1514 would allow Commission motor carrier and commercial motor vehicle enforcement a 25-mile radius from a fixed or virtual facility for patrols – up from a seven-mile radius.

One more bill in the House Rules Committee would reduce the cost of certain truck fees and add another fee.

HB2714 would trim the minimum fee for any permit issued for size, weight and load from $40 to $35. In exchange, a fee of $8.75 could be charged for each 1,000 pounds in excess of the legal load limit.

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