HB363: Overweight vehicles; specialized mobile equipment with permits to operate on interstate highways.

HOUSE BILL NO. 363
Offered January 11, 2006
Prefiled January 6, 2006
A BILL to amend and reenact § 46.2-1139 of the Code of Virginia, relating to permits for excessive size and weight; operation on interstate highways.
Patron-- Carrico

Referred to Committee on Transportation

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That § 46.2-1139 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 46.2-1139. Permits for excessive size and weight generally; penalty.

A. The Commissioner and local authorities of cities and towns, in their respective jurisdictions, may, upon written application and good cause being shown, issue a permit authorizing the applicant to operate on a highway a vehicle of a size or weight exceeding the maximum specified in this title. Any such permit may designate the route to be traversed and contain any other restrictions or conditions deemed necessary by the body granting the permit.

B. Except for permits issued under § 46.2-1141 for overweight vehicles transporting containerized freight, permits issued under § 46.2-1149.4 for overweight specialized mobile equipment, and permits issued for overweight vehicles transporting irreducible loads, no overweight permit issued by the Commissioner or any local authority under any provision of this article shall be valid for the operation of any vehicle on an interstate highway if the vehicle has:

1. A single axle weight in excess of 20,000 pounds; or

2. A tandem axle weight in excess of 34,000 pounds; or

3. A gross weight, based on axle spacing, greater than that permitted in § 46.2-1127; or

4. A gross weight, regardless of axle spacing, in excess of 80,000 pounds.

C. The Commissioner may issue permits to operate or tow one or more travel trailers as defined in § 46.2-1900 or motor homes when any of such vehicles exceed the maximum width specified by law, provided the movement of the vehicle is prior to its retail sale and it complies with the provisions of § 46.2-1105. A copy of each such permit shall be carried in the vehicle for which it is issued.

D. Every permit issued under this article for the operation of oversize or overweight vehicles shall be carried in the vehicle to which it refers and may be inspected by any officer. Violation of any term of any permit issued under this article shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor.

E. Any permit issued by the Commissioner or local authorities of cities and towns pursuant to state law may be restricted so as to prevent travel on any federal-aid highway if the continuation of travel on such highway would result in a loss of federal-aid funds. Before any such permit is restricted by the Commissioner, or local authority, written notice shall be given to the permittee.

F. When application is made for permits issued by the Commissioner as well as local authorities of one or more cities and towns, any fees imposed therefor by the Commissioner as well as all affected local authorities may be paid by the applicant, at the applicant's option, to the Commissioner, who shall promptly transmit the local portion of the total fee to the appropriate locality or localities.

G. Engineering analysis, performed by the Virginia Department of Transportation, shall be conducted of a proposed routing before the Commissioner issues any permit under this section when such analysis is required to promote safety and preserve the capacity and structural integrity of highways and bridges. The Commissioner shall not issue a permit when the Virginia Department of Transportation determines that the roadway and bridges to be traversed cannot sustain the vehicles' size and weight.