Work has begun at the Texas capitol in preparation for the kickoff of the legislative year. Several trucking issues are getting attention in Texas bills, including ELDs, oversized vehicles and trailer registration.
One House bill addresses the use and installation of electronic logging devices on certain large trucks.
Sponsored by Rep. James White, R-Hillister, HB153 would exempt intrastate operators hauling agricultural goods from the electronic logging requirement.
Advocates say the ELD requirement unfairly burdens small business operations, jeopardizes agricultural goods, and will not improve safety.
At least four states have acted in the past year to address concerns about the ELD mandate.
A resolution adopted earlier this year in South Dakota calls on Congress and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to overturn the rules for ELDs. Idaho state legislators also acted to support calling for the exemption of livestock and agricultural loads from the requirement. Elsewhere, Oklahoma and Tennessee lawmakers approved efforts focused on exempting agricultural haulers.
Another Texas bill filed for consideration in the Texas House covers the registration of certain trailers.
The bill from Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, would provide the option of a permanent semitrailer token fee.
Affected trailers must have a gross weight in excess of 6,000 pounds to qualify for token trailer registration.
The annual fee for trailer registration is $15. HB376 would provide the option of a permanent license plate for $80.
One more Texas bill is intended to improve safety on roadways.
Rep. Ina Minjarez, D-San Antonio, has filed a bill to require the state to include information about oversize and overweight vehicles in the curriculum of driver education and driving safety courses.
Specifically, HB105 calls for including methods of safely operating a vehicle near an oversize and overweight vehicle. Information would also be included about safe following distances and safe passing methods.
The bills await assignment to committee for the regular session that begins on Jan. 8.
To view other legislative activities of interest for Texas, click here.
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