Two new laws in Nebraska are intended as an incentive to reduce truck idling and discourage drivers and companies from violating out-of-service orders.
Gov. Dave Heineman recently signed a bill into law that includes a provision that increases the maximum weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle reduction technology. Trucks with the equipment – such as APUs – are authorized to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.
The new rule takes effect this July.
A similar effort was signed into law this past year in Oregon. Additional efforts are under consideration in Illinois and Missouri.
The new law in Nebraska, previously LB756, specifies the weight allowance cannot be in addition to the “five-percent-in-excess-of-maximum-load” provision in existing state law.
A separate measure signed by the governor – LB845 – gets tough with those in the trucking industry who don’t heed out-of-service orders. It becomes effective this July.
The new law prohibits motor carriers from allowing or requiring drivers of commercial motor vehicles to violate any OOS orders. The law also prohibits truck drivers from violating the rule.
Companies found in violation would face fines ranging from $2,750 to $25,000, per occurrence. Truckers would face fines ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. Repeat offenders would face fines up to $7,500.
Supporters say adoption of the OOS penalties would preserve some of Nebraska’s federal highway funding.
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– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor