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Summary of Legislation: This legislation adds civil penalties for truck drivers failing to obtain overweight permits. A vehicle transporting unrefined timber, wood chips, or woody biomass would be exempt from vehicle limitations concerning weight if the operator holds a new special permit. In addition to other required permits, the new permit would cost $800 annually. This bill would require a “financially responsible party to agree to reimburse the county or state for any damage to a road or highway due to their actions authorized by the permit.
Notes: This bill would provide the wood hauling industry weight limit parity with pipe, concrete, and other construction machinery haulers. The $800 permit is an annual permit which is streamlined and allows more county pass through access than existing permits. Permits are only required under this legislation if the hauler is hauling or desires to haul up to 5% over the maximum road weight requirements. The notification and “financially responsible party” agreement contained within the permit holders license agreement will be administered through an existing DMV online notification system. In the event of road damage, liable parties would establish timely pay-back exchanges through litigation settlements. This bill will facilitate faster and more profitable hauling for participants. This bill moves toward equal application of the law by treating wood hauling companies the same as other companies with respect to weight limit exemptions.
Amendment Recommendation: The $5000 penalty for non-permit holder weight limit violations is excessive and should be reduced. We would support an amendment reducing the amount of the fine.