By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor
Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed into law two bills that address trucking issues in North Dakota. The new laws cover medical certification requirements and excess size or weight vehicles.
The first law addresses two topics that the federal government has delved into. The bill – SB2112 – puts the state in accordance with the FMCSA’s 2012 medical certification requirements. CDL holders operating interstate must submit a copy of their medical certificate to the state DOT. Intrastate drivers will still be able to self-certify.
The federal government mandates that states adopt the provision before Jan. 30, 2012, to avoid non-compliance. Failure to comply in the first year could cost the state 5 percent of federal highway funds. The percent of funds lost would increase to 10 percent for the second or subsequent years of noncompliance.
SB2112 specifies that once a trucker provides current medical certification, a license upgrade would be made without retesting.
Also included in the bill is a provision to outlaw truckers’ use of text messaging devices while at the wheel. CB radios are exempt from the ban.
Violations of the texting ban would be considered a “serious” traffic violation.
A separate bill signed by the governor authorizes a regional permit system on excess size or weight vehicles. The North Dakota Highway Patrol and NDDOT will be given the ability to reach agreements with other states about the regional operation or movement of “nondivisible oversize or overweight vehicles.”
HB1082 allows affected vehicles to move from one state in the region to, or through, another state or states in the region under a single-trip permit.
According to a fiscal note on the bill, the cost to enhance the state’s current permit system to accommodate the proposed change is estimated at nearly $1.2 million.
To view other legislative activities of interest for North Dakota, click here.
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