Missouri law in effect Aug. 28 changes roadside truck inspection rule

August 27, 2018

Keith Goble


New rules in effect next week in Missouri include provisions addressing roadside inspections.

Gov. Mike Parson signed into law the 78-page bill this spring that covers a variety of transportation issues, including a provision that addresses concern about random commercial vehicle inspections. The new law takes effect on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

Previously SB881, the new law specifies that roadside safety inspections are not permitted on the shoulder of highways with a posted speed limit in excess of 40 mph. Inspections can be carried out, however, on the shoulder at any entrance or exit areas where there is “adequate” room to safely perform inspections.

Advocates said the change is intended to address commercial vehicle enforcement efforts in locales including Franklin County near St. Louis. Inspections along the roadside there have been described as unsafe and unconstitutional.

Sen. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, has said the stops should be performed in a safe location instead of right next to passing traffic. Others added that the “random” stops also impede commerce.

Critics said the enforcement efforts in Franklin County and elsewhere were legit. They add that the sheriff’s department also made every effort to perform their duties in a location that is safe for both the vehicle operator and the officer.

A separate provision addresses logging trucks. Specifically, the “local log truck” and “local log truck tractor” plate definition was changed to allow trucks to pull a trailer that has as many as three axles – up from two axles.

Supporters said the change will allow better dispersion of weight on three axles and help ensure that trucks cause less road damage.

There are no changes in weight restrictions for affected loads.

Another provision covers the transportation of cranes.

The new law provides that the Highways and Transportation Commission shall issue single-use special permits for or upon request of the equipment owner. Cranes also may be operated on state-maintained roads and highways at any time on any day.