bills winding through Legislature
A number of transportation-related bills continue to progress
as the 2005 Idaho Legislature enters its third month.
One bill, which would transfer responsibility for search
and rescue activities for missing aircraft and airmen from ITD to the
Idaho National Guard, has ascended to Gov. Dirk Kempthorne’s desk
and awaits the governor’s signature to be enacted.
The bill does not remove ITD’s Division of Aeronautics
completely from search and rescue activities. The division retains responsibility
for conducting the technical aspects of aerial searches and for coordinating
those activities with the state Bureau of Homeland Security and local
resources. But it transfers some of the notification and oversight responsibilities
to the BHS to avoid redundancy.
Among the other major bills currently under consideration
(as of March 3):
The mandatory chain-up law (H0180),
granting ITD authority to require the use of traction devices when
conditions are deemed appropriate, is being replaced based on consultation
with private industry and legislators. The new language includes provisions
for appropriate sign notifications and chain-up locations.
A “highway quick clearance” bill (H0053)
was approved 61-8-1 in the House and was held until this week by the
Senate Transportation Committee. ITD recommends an amendment with
the support of the Idaho State Police to address industry and legislative
concerns. A new revised statute will be introduced in the House State
The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (H0054)
is on the third reading in the House.
A bill to address language regarding Idaho’s
Ports of Entry (RS14456) has been replaced by three
bills initiated in the House. H0181, regarding conformance
with federal regulation for the transport of munitions using dromedary
tractor/trailer combinations and regional standards passed in the
House 67-3 and is on the Senate calendar for a third reading. H182
provides consistent penalties for commercial motor vehicles that fail
to register. And H0193 clarifies those vehicles required
to stop at ports of entry for inspection and weighing. Both bills
received “do-pass” recommendations in the House Transportation
committee and are on the House calendar for a third reading.
Maximum Speed Limit (S1082) was withdrawn.
A new version, S1133 that addressed the speed differential
for trucks on the interstate highway system has been held in committee
at ITD’s request.
Work Zone Reform (H0052) will be
withdrawn from consideration and replaced by a new bill (H0144)
that would remove the double penalty for work zone violations. It
was passed in the House (67-0-3) and sent to the Senate floor with
a do-pass recommendation. It is on the Senate calendar for a third
Three new special license plate requests have been
introduced — Private College License Plates, Office of Science
and Technology, and Basque Heritage Plate. A related bill (H0101)
would prohibit the authorization of any new special license plate
programs after this session. That bill was scheduled to be introduced
in the House Transportation Committee today (March 4).