New Massachusetts laws deal with size/weight; speeding

| 9/9/2002

Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift recently signed two bills of interest to truckers. H5205, signed April 9, clarifies the number of axles, the length and height of vehicles allowed on certain designated highways.

Some of the length limits include: carhaulers, 65 feet; stinger-steered combinations, 75 feet; semi-trailer, 50 feet; truck and semi-trailer or trailer, 59 feet (same applies to combinations pulling doubles). Vehicle and load height is limited to 13 feet 6 inches, with liability for any damage from bridge or viaduct collision whether or not the clearance is posted.

H867, signed July 30, doubles speeding fines in marked construction zones, but the kicker is what constitutes a speeding violation. The new law reads, "While operating a motor vehicle ... at a speed which exceeds the posted limit, or at a speed that is greater than is reasonable and proper." Who decides what is "reasonable and proper"?