Oklahoma lawmakers near passage of truck rule changes

April 18, 2018

Keith Goble

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Multiple bills moving through the Oklahoma statehouse address truck size and weight rules.

The Senate voted 43-1 to advance one bill to shift responsibility for enforcing truck regulations in the state.

Sponsored by Sen. Mark Allen, R-Spiro, SB1380 would transfer truck enforcement oversight from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. The change would affect commercial vehicles weighing at least 26,000 pounds.

The Corporation Commission writes an estimated $3.5 million to $4 million in overweight violations each year through its own administrative court system, according to a fiscal note on the bill.

Allen’s bill would provide funding for enforcement through the state Department of Transportation. As a result, citations would be handled in local district courts of the ports of entry.

The commission reports that the change would result in an estimated reduction of 170 employees.

In addition, the bill would eliminate commercial insurance requirements for private haulers transporting anything other than hazardous materials.

Allen is the owner of a trucking company that services oil fields in the state. His connection to the industry has raised concern by some about a conflict of interest.

His bill awaits further consideration in the House Appropriations and Budget Committee.

Overweight vehicles
A separate Senate-approved bill, and a companion to SB1380, would establish and adjust the bond schedule for overweight vehicles.

The bill, SB1375, would set a $200 fine for vehicles overweight by 750 to 3,000 pounds. A fine of $250 would be handed out for vehicles overweight by 3,001 to 5,000 pounds. A $450 fine would be set for vehicles overweight by 5,001 to 7,000 pounds. And a fine of $650 would be applied for overweight loads of 7,001 to 10,000 pounds.

Any vehicle overweight by more than 10,000 pounds would be assessed a fine of 10 cents per pound in excess of the weight limit.

SB1375 is in the House Appropriations and Budget Committee.

Another bill has cleared the statehouse that would modify weight limits for certain trucks operating in the Tulsa area.

SB1089 would require dual wheels for vehicles operating under special permits moving loads of 22,000 to 23,000 pounds, with width exceeding 12 feet, or with a gross vehicle weight of at least 300,000 pounds. A minimum weight capacity rating of 20,000 pounds would also be required for the steering axle of any vehicle moving loads greater than 23,000 pounds.

The rule would apply to oversize and overweight vehicles operating within a 30-mile radius of the Port of Catoosa.

The additional weights would be allowed only on roadways already designed to support them.

The bill is on the Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk.

One bill on the governor’s desk covers high-wide corridors in the state.

SB1114 states that all future bridge design or construction on affected corridors must accommodate vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 315,000 pounds.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Oklahoma, click here.

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.