Virginia bills cover multiple truck issues

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Monday, January 30, 2012

Trucking issues are the topic of various bills offered at the Virginia statehouse. Issues addressed include IFTA, truck weights, engine brakes, and military truckers.

The Senate voted unanimously Monday, Jan. 30, to advance a bill that would put the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles in charge of the state’s involvement with the International Fuel Tax Agreement program.

In return, truck drivers would be responsible for applying to the department for IFTA licenses and identification.

DMV personnel would be authorized to handle truck size and weight compliance at permanent weigh stations, as well as issue citations for IFTA violations.

The agency would also be responsible for working with State Police and local law enforcement to make sure truck rules are dealt with uniformly throughout the state.

The bill – HB353 – is awaiting assignment to committee in the Senate.

Senate lawmakers already gave unanimous consent to a separate bill that addresses sand, gravel, and crushed stone hauls. SB335 would extend the temporary increased weight limit for such loads in coal counties to July 2013.

The current expiration date is July 1, 2012. The date has been updated for the past seven years.

The bill now awaits further consideration in the House.

Two more House bills address truck weights. HB806 would establish cost-based fees determined by the amount that a vehicle is overweight for single- and multi-trip permits. Multi-trip permits could be transferred to another vehicle twice over the course of one year. Each transfer would cost $10.

The annual fee for overweight permits would be set at $130.

Fees collected would be used for road and bridge maintenance.

HB1195 increases the maximum tandem axle weight limit from 34,000 pounds to 40,000 pounds.

The use of compression brakes in one eastern Virginia town is targeted in another bill. HB846 would authorize the town of St. Paul to regulate use of “Jake brakes” when operating vehicles within the town located about 30 miles off Interstate 81. Penalties for violations could not exceed cost for traffic infractions.

Dubbed “Troops to Trucks,” one more bill is intended to ease the transition from military duty to driving truck stateside. HB194 would require the DMV to consider applicants’ military training and experience in reviewing their eligibility to receive a Virginia CDL.

The first-of-its-kind rule would allow service personnel returning from duty to exchange their military CDL for a state-issued CDL without the need for a written or a skills test.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Virginia, click here.

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