State laws all over the map for July 1 start date

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 6/27/2017

The first of July is a busy time for new laws in states around the country. At least a dozen states mark the first full month of summer as the beginning date for legislation passed earlier in the year.

Below are new rules in effect in states from Tennessee to Wyoming.

A first-of-its-kind statute in Arkansas requires commercial driver’s licensing tie-ins with efforts to combat trafficking. Specifically, a training course on human trafficking will be put in place for CDL applicants and truckers renewing their licenses.

Truckers have two options to get trained: Take a course hosted by either the Arkansas State Police or a third party group endorsed by troopers, or take a Truckers Against Trafficking online course.

The course is free.

Kansas has enacted the same rule as Arkansas. The Kansas Department of Revenue estimates the training will cost the state $77,558 in the next fiscal year.

A new rule taking effect in Idaho permits motorists and motorcyclists to exceed the posted speed limit by up to 15 mph while passing on two-lane highways. Affected roadways must have posted speeds of at least 55 mph.

Until now, Idaho law has not provided exception or leniency of a speed above the posted limit during or immediately following a pass.

Passing drivers would be required to return to the right lane and reduce speed to the posted limit “as soon as practicable.”

The new passing rule does not change where passing is or is not allowed. Work zones are also off limits for the maneuver.

In Kentucky, a new law adds feed haulers to the list of loads permitted to top the 80,000-pound threshold on two-lane and four-lane state highways. State law already permits a 10 percent weight tolerance for certain loads. The loads are not permitted on interstate highways.

The new law adds trucks hauling feed for livestock or poultry. The change also permits livestock and agriculture haulers to exceed the gross weight provisions by four tons to make their first stop.

Starting July 1 in Tennessee, the fine for protests that obstruct a roadway is increased from $50 to $200. The rule covers any incident that impedes an emergency vehicle from responding to an emergency.

Two new laws in Wyoming cover vehicle-related fees. Specific to commercial vehicles, the first law increases the state registration fee for 80,000-pound trucks to $907.50 – up from $825. The highway use tax for the same vehicles is also raised from $1,400 to $1,540.

A second law doubles multiple drivers’ license fees. CDLs are up to $50, commercial learner’s permits and CDL renewals or duplicates are $40, and CDL skills tests cost $80.

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