State watch – October 2019

October 2019

Keith Goble

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The majority of state legislatures have wrapped up their work for this year. Here’s our early fall roundup of what governors signed into law in recent weeks and of other items still active. For a complete rundown of state legislation, visit LandLine.media.


Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed into law a bill to raise the maximum penalty for hitting a construction worker. Previously, the maximum penalty for striking a worker is $10,000. The new law increases the fine to $25,000.


Louisiana

A new law in effect Aug. 1 addresses autonomous truck rules. Previously HB455, the new law specifies written rules of the road that self-driving large vehicles must follow. Autonomous trucks must be able to follow all federal and state traffic laws. Additionally, affected vehicles must be registered and have a minimum liability coverage of $2 million.


Maryland

One year after Gov. Larry Hogan signed into law a bill to authorize the Fort Washington area to use one speed camera on state Route 210, or Indian Head Highway, a bill revises the rule. The year-old law permits one speed camera along Route 210 in Prince George County at the intersection with Old Fort Road. HB187 expands the rule to apply to any intersection on Route 210 in Prince George County.


Massachusetts

Gov. Charlie Baker has filed a five-year, $18 billion bond bill touted to invest in the state’s transportation system. The plan, H4002, outlines $10.1 billion for Massachusetts DOT highway division construction projects. Of that amount, $5.6 billion would be routed to federal-aid highway construction and $3.1 billion would be designated for highway work not supported by the federal government. Another $1.25 billion would be applied for bridges, and $150 million would be spent to pave area roads.


New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law a bill to revise the process for the administration and oversight of Transportation Trust Fund projects that are funded with fuel tax revenue. Previously S876/A2607, the new law also creates a research center in the state’s DOT to help maximize federal matching dollars for the transportation fund. The new law requires the state DOT to collaborate with counties to create a priority list of highway projects.


New York

One Assembly bill would authorize New York City to implement a pilot truck weight photo-monitoring system at certain locations around the city. Truck owners would be liable when the truck’s operator drives on stretches of road posted as a “no thru truck street.” A2105 would authorize up to 50 intersections to be outfitted with the photo-monitoring devices.

One Senate-approved bill would increase the fine for illegally parking a commercial vehicle in parts of the city. S3215 would authorize $400 fines – up from $250 – for illegally parking a “tractor-trailer combination, tractor, truck tractor or semi-trailer” in residential neighborhoods of New York City. Subsequent violations within six months would result in $800 fines – up from $500.

Another Senate-approved bill covers concern about large trucks parked on New York City streets. Specifically, S2761 would authorize a $1,000 fine for a trailer or semi-trailer parked or left unattended overnight. Currently, violations of illegally parked tractor-trailers or semis does not carry a fine. Owners are responsible only for paying a $160 towing fee.


Pennsylvania

One effort underway is intended to reimburse Pennsylvania-based companies for their tolls when transporting goods to and from Pennsylvania port facilities along the turnpike. The Senate and House versions of the bill, SB612 and HB905, are in their respective chamber’s transportation committee.

A bill introduced in the House covers concern about toll roads in the state. HB1720 would require legislative approval for toll road conversion.


Utah

A new law permits so-called lane splitting, or lane filtering, with motorcycles. HB149 authorizes motorcyclists to travel between lanes only on roads posted at 50 mph or less. The new law requires that traffic on roadways with two adjacent lanes be stopped and that the motorcycle is traveling at less than 15 mph. LL

 

Keith Goble

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.