From lane use to rest areas – brand-new laws are on the books July 1

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Friday, June 29, 2018

Truckers must be on constant watch for new rules that could affect them as they drive from point A to point B. Fresh off legislative action in states around the country, July is one of the leading months for new laws to take effect. Below are some notable laws that Land Line found.     

Indiana
As of July 1, bulk milk haulers are excluded from the definition of “overweight divisible load.” The distinction permits the state Department of Transportation to issue an overweight permit for the transportation of bulk milk up to 100,000 pounds.

The department is required to issue an annual permit with a fee of $20 to an applicant for a bulk milk permit whose total equivalent single axle load calculation is equal to or less than 2.40 equivalent single axle load credit.

The department is required to issue a nondivisible overweight permit to an applicant for a bulk milk permit whose total equivalent single axle load calculation is greater than 2.40 equivalent single axle load credit.

Truck platoons are also exempted from the state’s 300-foot following distance rule for large vehicles.

In addition, fire departments throughout the state are allowed to test vehicular carbon monoxide levels upon request of the vehicle owner or assigned driver.

Idaho
One new law in Idaho is intended to keep vehicles out of the far-left lane for “an unreasonable amount of time.”

State law already prohibits impeding the “normal and reasonable movement of traffic” with slow driving. Effective July 1, the new rule covers impeding “the flow of other traffic traveling at a lawful rate of speed.” Essentially, slow drivers in the far-left lane are forbidden to impede other drivers traveling the speed limit. Violators could face $90 citations.

A separate new law permits drivers who strike wildlife to humanely kill the animal at the roadside if the injury is fatal. Law enforcement no longer must be on the scene to take action.

Mississippi
The state already requires vehicles driving slower than the normal speed of traffic to stay in the right lane of multilane highways. Vehicles are allowed to merge left to overtake and pass slower moving traffic.

As of July 1, a new law permits police to ticket travelers lingering in the far left lanes of multilane highways. The change expands the state’s rule to require travelers to stay to the right except when overtaking or passing another vehicle. Also, drivers would be exempt if they are in the left lane to turn or exit. Violators could face fines between $5 and $50.

South Dakota
Starting the first of the month, CDL applicants are allowed three attempts to pass the CDL examination. The new law requires the three attempts to be taken within six months.

Another new law permits truck drivers to provide an electronic copy of their operator’s license upon request by law enforcement.

West Virginia
A new law in West Virginia requires the state’s Division of Highways to study the feasibility of implementing a comprehensive sponsorship program for rest areas, welcome centers and roads. If a program is deemed feasible, the agency would begin implementation.

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