SPONSOR: Childers (Koller)

COMMITTEE ACTION: Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Transportation by a vote of 23 to 0.

This substitute imposes an additional fine for speeding in a construction or work zone if a construction worker is present. The additional fine is $250 for a violation of state law or a $75 fine for a violation of a county or municipal ordinance which exceeds the posted construction zone speed limit by 10 miles per hour. The penalty will only be assessed if the Department of Transportation, the political subdivision, or a contractor of either entity has erected signs around the work zone to warn drivers.

The substitute defines "dromedary" as a box, deck, or plate mounted behind the cab and forward of the fifth wheel on the frame of the power unit of a truck tractor-semitrailer combination. A dromedary may carry part of a load when operating independently or in combination with a semitrailer. A truck- tractor equipped with a dromedary and semitrailer will be allowed a length of 60 feet when operating on state highways. On interstate highways, the length of a semitrailer when pulled by a truck-tractor equipped with a dromedary will not exceed 53 feet.

The overall allowed length of automobile transporters, boat transporters, and truck-trailers boat transporter combinations is increased from 65 to 75 feet.

It is unlawful to drive a vehicle across the median of a divided highway except at an interchange or a signed designated location. This provision will not apply to emergency vehicles, law enforcement vehicles, or Department of Transportation vehicles.

"Automobile transporter" is redefined to include camper units.

The bridge formula is restructured. Currently, a weight structure is established for primary or interstate highways and a different structure for supplementary highways. The substitute establishes one statewide weight structure. The Highways and Transportation Commission may establish maximum weight and speed limits for vehicles using bridges when they find that weights specified by formula will endanger the bridge. Special posting is required in such cases.

The Chief Engineer will be allowed to issue special permits not to exceed 16 feet wide for vehicles hauling lumber products and earth moving equipment. The maximum is currently 14 feet wide.

School bus exhaust tailpipes will be allowed to extend 2 inches beyond the perimeter of the body or bumper. Current law prohibits exhaust tailpipes from protruding from the bus.

Any operator of a vehicle required to stop at a weigh station who knowingly avoids the station is guilty of a misdemeanor.

FISCAL NOTE: Estimated Net Cost to Road Fund of $102,000 in FY 2001, FY 2002, and FY 2003.

PROPONENTS: Supporters say that lowering speed limits in construction zones is good for the safety of construction workers and for the safety of drivers in the zones.

Testifying for the bill were Senator Childers; Department of Transportation; Associated General Contractors; Joe Alder; and Missouri Highway and Transportation Employees Association.

OPPONENTS: There was no opposition voiced to the committee.

Robert Triplett, Legislative Analyst