Oklahoma bills address truck enforcement, fees

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Friday, February 14, 2014

A handful of bills at the Oklahoma statehouse cover truck enforcement, certain overload permits and truck fees.

The Senate Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill that would remove a “double standard” in how the state handles truck enforcement. Currently, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission and the Highway Patrol can stop truckers.

Sen. Mark Allen, R-Spiro, introduced a bill that would create a port-of-entry officers division within the Department of Public Safety.

“I’m trying to level the playing field and create one standard to go by instead of the OCC stopping you in one place and OHP stopping you at another place,” Allen told Land Line.

SB1571 has moved to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

A separate bill from Allen in the Senate Transportation Committee covers the authority to weigh large vehicles. SB1458 would give the Department of Public Safety exclusive rights to enforce truck weights. No longer would the Corporation Commission or any sheriffs or deputies be allowed to enforce truck weights.

“Right now we’ve got three agencies that can get fines off the truckers. We’re taking two of them out of the loop,” Allen said. “When DPS gets sole control, we’ll have one agency to monitor enforcement of size and weights in Oklahoma.”

Also in the Senate Transportation Committee is a bill that would increase the area that truck enforcement can patrol. SB1514 would allow Commission motor carrier and commercial motor vehicle enforcement a 25-mile radius from a fixed facility for patrols – up from a seven-mile radius.

Another bill would raise revenue for the Corporation Commission through overload permits charged for such loads as timber, rock, sand, gravel and coal. The $100 annual fee charged for overload permits would stay the same but $3.50 of each permit would go to the commission.

SB1551 would also require placarded hazmat haulers to display the company name on each side of the vehicle. Violators would face $100 fines.

Exceptions would apply for trucks with a U.S. DOT number, whether hauling interstate or intrastate.

The Senate Transportation Committee voted to move the bill along to the Senate Finance Committee.

One more bill in the House Rules Committee would reduce the cost of certain truck fees and add another fee.

HB2714 would trim the minimum fee for any permit issued for size, weight and load from $40 to $35. In exchange, a fee of $8.75 could be charged for each 1,000 pounds in excess of the legal load limit.

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