OOIDA State Watch

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor

ALABAMA

Rep. Tommy Hanes, R-Scottsboro, has a bill that would impose left-lane restrictions on certain highways for professional drivers. Currently, vehicles traveling below the posted speed limit on Alabama highways are required to stay to the right. HB18 would prohibit vehicles with three or more axles from driving in the left lane on the state’s interstates and U.S. highways with at least two lanes of traffic. The ban would also apply along roadways with at least three lanes of traffic in the same direction.

MISSOURI

Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, filed a bill to authorize driver-assistive truck platooning technology on state roadways. HB108 would limit authorization to two vehicles.

NEW JERSEY

A bill on Gov. Chris Christie’s desk would allow three third-party vendors to administer the knowledge and skills tests required to obtain a commercial driver’s license. S2364 specifies that one vendor would be located in each of the southern, central and northern parts of the state.

Two bills on the move are intended to give South Jersey residents more of a say in happenings at the Turnpike Authority.

The Senate approved a bill to require the Turnpike Authority to hold two regular meetings each year on a rotating basis in Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties. S1675 would also require at least one regular meeting of the authority be held annually on a rotating basis in the area of Salem, Gloucester and Camden counties. One regular meeting each year would also be required in Bergen County.

S1674 would require representation on the Authority’s board by all regions of the state. At least one of the seven appointed members would be from Ocean, Atlantic or Cape May counties.

NORTH DAKOTA

One bill would increase speeds by 5 mph on the state’s fastest roadways. SB2057 would raise the 75 mph speed limit for all vehicles on Interstates 29 and 94 to 80 mph.

OHIO

A bill headed to the governor would permit all township police to make arrests during traffic stops on local highways. HB378 would remove a 50,000-resident threshold to allow all township police the authority to make arrests on national highways that are not included in the interstate system. The affected roadway must be located within the territory of the officer.

PENNSYLVANIA

Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law a bill that revises the state’s rule on truck inspections.

State law has mandated that trucks with a registered gross weight in excess of 17,000 pounds undergo semi-annual inspections.

The new law instead sets up annual inspections. A separate new rule adds sugar to the list of commodities that may receive an annual permit to haul in excess of 80,000 pounds on specified highways – not interstate highways.

The permit rule is already in effect. The inspection rule change takes effect this month.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Two bills are of interest to truckers. H3289 covers following distances for autonomous large vehicles. State law requires large vehicles to leave a distance greater than other vehicles on the road. Large autonomous vehicles that follow another like-truck would be exempt from the rule.

H3244 would prohibit large trucks from accessing the far left lane of interstates except to pass. Certain exceptions would apply, including when no other vehicle is directly behind a truck in the far left lane. LL

MICHIGAN

Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law a bill to increase speeds for motorists on rural interstates to 75 mph, while trucks could be authorized to drive up to 10 mph below the posted speed limit for cars. Another 900 miles of U.S. and state-numbered highways could have speeds increased from 55 mph to 65 mph for all users. Changes in posted speeds could be made only after traffic studies done by the Michigan DOT and Michigan State Police.