Maryland bill could hurt Washington County truckers

| 3/7/2008

A bill has been introduced in Maryland that could affect truck drivers who live in Washington County and park their trucks at home.

The bill – HB1599 – would make it illegal for a person to “park a commercial semitractor or a single-unit commercial truck more than 10,000 pounds in gross vehicle weight on a public road within a residential subdivision in the county.” Exceptions would be allowed when the truck is loading or unloading passengers, merchandise or materials.

The first reading of the bill was Monday, March 3. It was addressed again at a meeting of the Washington County legislative delegation on Wednesday, March 5. While the county delegation has requested the bill, some members of the delegation expressed concern that the weight cutoff is too low and would hurt some truck owners who park their commercial vehicles at their residents.

Delegate Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, used the example of his father owning a delivery business and using a cube van, weighing 26,000 pounds, which couldn’t be parked in his subdivision under the proposed weight restrictions in the bill.

“I think we really need to massage it before I’m willing to support it,” Shank said at the meeting on Wednesday.

As of Friday, March 7, the bill has moved to the Environmental Matters Committee for consideration. The deadline for the bill to crossover from the House to the Senate is March 24. The Maryland legislative session ends on April 7.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer