Missouri bill would amend ‘salvage’ titles, other truck rules

| 5/25/2007

Missouri lawmakers have advanced a bill to the governor that includes several provisions of interest to truckers.

A House-Senate conference committee reached agreement on a bill that would loosen the standards on the amount of damage that must be noted on vehicle titles. House lawmakers endorsed the bill on a 118-39 vote while the Senate signed off on it by a margin of 31-3.

Missouri law now requires a vehicle’s title to state that it is “salvaged” if a damaged vehicle no more than seven years old would cost 75 percent of its fair market value to repair. The bill would raise the damage limit to 80 percent. Hail damage would be excluded from the damage calculations.

Vehicles more than six years old wouldn’t have to carry salvage titles.

Supporters say that decreasing the number of totaled vehicles would help all consumers who finance their vehicles. Opponents refute that. They say it could lead to consumers unknowingly buying substandard vehicles.

The salvage provisions are included in a larger transportation bill – SB82 – that also would bring state law in line with a federal rule that was part of the 2005 federal highway funding legislation. The maximum length for saddlemount vehicle transporter combinations in the state would be changed from 75 feet to 97 feet, when operated on interstate highways.

Another provision would expand the area in which “local log trucks” and “local log truck tractors” can operate from 50 miles to 100 miles. It also would increase the width limit for trucks from 96 inches to 102 inches on all highways in the state – the same as interstates.