Texas bills with eye on trucking rules advance


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Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed a bill into law intended to curb unsafe trucking operations in the state. Several other bills of interest continue to draw consideration in the statehouse.

Existing state law doesn’t prohibit intrastate travel for motor carriers that have been deemed unfit or unsafe for interstate travel by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The new law, previously SB332, prohibits motor carriers from operating intrastate if the FMCSA has prohibited them from operating in interstate commerce because of safety concerns. It takes effect Sept. 1.

Sponsored by Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, the bill also prohibits an employer from knowingly permitting a person to drive such a vehicle if the employer is subject to an out-of-service order affecting a driver or vehicle.

Violators to the rules will face up to $2,000 fines and/or 180 days in jail.
Another bill authored by Carona headed to the governor’s desk would bring state law in line with federal rules for saddlemounts. The rule was part of the 2005 federal Highway Bill. The bill – SB331 – would change the maximum length for saddlemount vehicle transporter combinations in the state from 75 feet to 97 feet.

Two more bills penned by Carona deal with cargo securement.

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