School is out and summer is now upon us; this is when many people gear up for family vacations and road trips. It’s important to make sure you take the necessary precautions associated with travel and remain aware of Missouri’s current traffic safety laws. A number of measures relating to transportation were passed this year by the Missouri General Assembly and now await the governor’s approval. Almost all of the transportation bills are omnibus bills, several containing many different provisions. A few of these provisions are duplicated within multiple bills, a technique lawmaker’s use that increases the odds that their legislation is approved at least once and helps if a large omnibus bill is vetoed by the governor.
One of my sponsored bills, Senate Bill 568, was sent to the governor for his approval. This omnibus transportation bill would, among other provisions, expand Missouri’s “Move Over Law” to include vehicles operated by Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) employees. The idea behind the measure is to protect both motorists and state employees on our sometimes dangerous roadways. We already have laws which require drivers to slow down while driving through MoDOT constructions zones, and we have a law that requires vehicles to slow down when approaching emergency vehicles. We need to give the same courtesy and respect to our transportation employees, who keep our roads safe and clear – a valuable and vital resource to our state. Senate Bill 568 also includes provisions that would reform the process for issuing temporary permit tags, change the rebuilt salvage vehicle inspection process, and amend commercial driver’s license definitions to comply with federal regulations.
Other measures relating to transportation and motor vehicles include Senate Bill 611, which, among other provisions, would require MoDOT to make the run times for yellow lights at intersections the same throughout the state. If signed by the governor, the new minimal yellow light change interval standard would be established in accordance with nationally recognized engineering standards. Lawmakers also approved changes to Missouri’s law regarding motor vehicles and outboard motor titles in Senate Bill 480. The measure, among other provisions, prohibits the creation of out-of-state collegiate or university specialty license plates for Missouri motorists. The bill only allows community colleges or other institutions of higher education located in the Show-Me-State to authorize its official emblem for use on specialty license plates.
Also, lawmakers adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 26, a measure that establishes the Joint Interim Committee on Transportation Needs. The committee is charged with conducting a comprehensive analysis of the transportation infrastructure needs of Missouri and making any recommendations for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of funding Missouri’s transportation needs. The committee must report its findings to the General Assembly by Jan. 1, 2013.
As always, if you would like to learn more about measures relating to transportation passed this year, bills I sponsored, or any matter involving state government, please feel free to contact my Capitol office Senator Mike Parson, State Capitol Building, Room 334. Phone: 573/751-8793 or 800/752-8256. My constituents have always been and will remain my top priority in the Legislature.