The transportation department anticipates introducing nine proposals related to transportation, safety and security during the 2006 Legislative session that begins Monday (Jan. 9). The transportation board approved the legislative proposals last summer.
Discussion initiated in the last session that would have authorized ITD to require traction devices during severe winter driving conditions is expected to resume this year. The legislation would require chains or other approved traction devices on sections of highway that have been posted by ITD because of hazardous driving conditions. ITD now can recommend but not require vehicles to use the traction devices.
Other bills expected to be introduced this year include:
• Driver Education Fees and Permits: Changes that simplify and standardize driver education fees and permits. Currently driver’s education training permits are $30 for public schools programs and $10 for commercial (private) driver’s education. The proposal would make both fees the same.
It also would authorize a plastic digitized photo card to teen drivers to carry during the supervised instruction permit period and beyond. The supervised permit now expires at age 17. The plastic card would provide a durable and reliable form of driver identification during the instruction period.
• CDL Program Audit Compliance: Legislation is proposed that would bring Idaho’s Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) program into compliance with federal regulations in accordance with a recent legal review by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration auditors. The auditor’s findings centered on 13 problem areas, including definitions of terms, out-of-service orders, record retention and driver disqualifications.
• Collision Reports Personal Information: Access to personal information contained on vehicle collision reports – such as name, address, phone number, etc. – would be exempt from public records law under a proposed amendment to Idaho’s Public Records Law.
• Veteran’s Motorcycle Specialty Plate: A new motorcycle specialty plate for military veterans was authorized during the past legislative session and became effective Jan. 1, 2005. But no plates have been issued because no consensus has been reached on design. Idaho code must be amended allow consideration of a new design and issuance of the redesigned plate.
• “Hunter permits” will be valid for 30 days rather than for 120 days under a proposed change in Idaho legal code. An internal audit recommended the amendment to reflect the actual time that a permit is valid in order to conform to provisions of the International Registration Plan agreement.
• A proposed bill would clarify that vehicles registered at or operating in Idaho at weights in excess of 26,000 pounds must stop for inspection/weighing at Ports of Entry. Some courts have interpreted the law to mean that a tractor without a trailer (operating at less than 26,000 gross vehicle weight) is not required to stop. The proposed legislation would clarify existing law to ensure that all vehicles registered at or operating at weights of more than 26,000 pounds must stop.
• Reimbursement for issuing Hazardous Waste Permits would increase from $2 to $3 as a result of an internal audit recommendation to current legal code.
• Liability relief will be sought for private property owners who allow the public to use their private airstrips for recreational purposes. If approved, the proposed law would be similar to one that provides liability relief for private property owners who allow the public to cross their land to access hunting and fishing sites.