Five proposals related to the Division of Motor Vehicles have been approved for introduction to the 2006 Legislature and the Idaho Transportation Board has approved the basic concept of four other proposals. Formal action on those four may come during the next board meeting, Oct. 17, 18 in Boise.
The five that have received a green light from the governor’s office, Legislative Services Office and transportation board are:
1. Variable load suspension axles. This legislation will clarify when a Variable Load Suspension (VLS) must be “self-steering” and eliminate the requirement for pre-qualification of VLS axles, which allows the group of axles (tandem and VLS) to be weighed as a single group.
The proposed law would allow a tandem axle/lift axle combination without requiring the lift axle to be self-steering.
2. Prohibiting issuance of restricted driving permits. This legislation will prohibit the issuance of a restricted permit for Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) operation during a period of license suspension for driving without privileges.
The proposal also would bring Idaho into compliance with federal requirements for commercial drivers licensing.
3. Persons who shall become licensed. The proposed legislation would amend Idaho law by deleting from a list of persons “that shall not be licensed,” a person who is a “habitual drunkard:” or “addicted to the use of narcotic drugs.”
These terms are undefined in state statute. If current law is unchanged, the statute could create a legal concern about ITD liability for acts of such persons. The department has no way of identifying such persons.
4. Allow 97-foot saddle-mount lengths on the National Highway System (NHS). A change in federal law (SAFETEA-LU passed in 2005) allows saddle-mount tractor/trailer combinations of up to 97 feet in overall length on the NHS only. Revisions in Idaho law are needed to assure compliance with the federal law. Idaho’s current overall length limits of 75 feet would remain in effect on all other highways.
5. Vehicle titling – Federal Bankruptcy Code. The proposed legislation would bring Idaho law into compliance with a new federal bankruptcy law that became effective in October 2005. The purpose of that law was to perfect a security interest in a vehicle. The legislative proposal would amend transitional ownership document requirements to match federal law by eliminating unnecessary steps in the filing of a title application that would not be recognized in a bankruptcy case.
In addition to these legislative proposals, the transportation has agreed in concept to the following, but needs to review details of the proposal before taking formal action: