SB 761 Modifies various laws relating to transportation and the regulation of motor vehicles
Sponsor: Stouffer
LR Number: 3509S.08P Fiscal Note: 3509-08
Committee: Transportation
Last Action: 5/6/2008 - HCS Voted Do Pass H Transportation Committee Journal Page:
Title: SS SCS SBs 761 & 774 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: Varies

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Current Bill Summary


SS/SCS/SB 761 & 774 - This act modifies several provisions relating to transportation and the regulation of motor vehicles.

ANNUAL BID BOND - This act provides that the commission is authorized to accept an annual bid bond for its construction and maintenance projects. The commission shall prescribe the form and content of an annual bid bond. This portion of the act is similar to HB 596 and SCS/SB 52 (2007)(Section 227.103).

SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS - Under this act, the director of revenue shall not issue or renew a school bus endorsement to any applicant whose driving record shows that the applicant has been convicted of an intoxication-related traffic offense while operating a school bus. A person convicted of an intoxication-related offense while operating a school bus will have his or her school bus endorsement permanently denied by the court, beginning on the date of the court?s order (Section 302.272). The act requires school bus drivers to notify the school district or the driver's employing contractor whenever the driver receives a citation for an intoxicated-related traffic offense. The notice of such citation shall be given prior to the driver resuming operation of a school bus. Failure to notify the school district or the employing contractor of the citation shall constitute a valid reason to discharge such person from the school district's or employing contractor's employ (Section 302.275). The act sets the fine for driving with a revoked license while operating a school bus at $1,000. The current law does not distinguish the offense by type of vehicle driven and the fine is up to $1,000 (Section 302.321). These provisions have an effective date of January 1, 2009. This portion of the act is similar to SB 24 (2007) and SB 584 (2006). These provisions were also contained in SS/SCS/SB 239 et al (2007).

RESTRICTED LICENSE PLATES - Under this act, any person whose driver's license has been suspended, revoked, or disqualified for a period for a period greater than 60 days shall immediately surrender his or her current license plates to the director of the Department of Revenue for destruction. The person shall be issued a set of restricted license plates that which shall bear a special series of numbers or letters so as to be readily identified by the highway patrol and other law enforcement officers. The restricted license plates shall be displayed on the motor vehicle or motor vehicles registered solely or jointly in the person's name for the period of the suspension, revocation, denial, or disqualification. Under the act, law enforcement officers may stop vehicles bearing the restricted license plates to determine whether the driver of such vehicle has a valid driver's license. Under the act, a registered owner of a motor vehicle who has been issued restricted license plates may not sell the motor vehicle during the period the vehicle is required to display the plates unless the registered owner applies to the department of revenue for permission to transfer title to the motor vehicle. If the director is satisfied that the proposed sale is in good faith and for a valid consideration, and that the sale or transfer is not for the purpose of circumventing the provisions of the act, the director may certify its consent to the owner of motor vehicle. Any vehicle acquired by the applicant during the period of restriction shall display the restricted license plates (Section 302.305). The provisions of this section become effective January 1, 2009. This portion of the act is similar to SB 580 (2007). This provision is also contained in SS/SCS/SB 239 et al (2007).

EXPUNGEMENT OF RECORDS OF CDL HOLDERS - This act prohibits the expungement of a minor in possession (MIP) charge for holders of commercial driver's licenses or persons operating commercial motor vehicles at the time of the violation (Section 311.326). The act also provides that no records shall be expunged if a person is found guilty with a BAC of .04 and is holding a commercial driver's license at the time of the offense (Section 302.545). This provision is also contained in SS/SCS/SB 239 et al (2007).

FAILURE TO APPEAR - This act includes failure to appear by a commercial license holder or operator of a commercial motor vehicle as an commercial driver offense requiring indefinite suspension until compliance (Section 302.700 and 302.755). This provision is also contained in SS/SCS/SB 239 et al (2007).

CDL MILITARY EXEMPTION - This act provides that a military member while driving a vehicle for military purposes is exempt from possessing a CDL. Current law provides that the military member must be driving a military vehicle to qualify for the exemption (Section 302.775). This provision was contained in SS/SCS/SB 239 et al (2007).

FAILURE TO STOP FOR SCHOOL BUSES - This act increases driver's license suspension periods for motorists who fail to stop for school buses that are loading or unloading children. Under the act, the suspension period for a first violation for failing to yield for a school bus is increased from 90 days to 120 days. A second or subsequent violation of the school bus stop provision will result in a 180 day suspension (increased from 120 days). This portion of the act is identical to SB 377 (2007)(Section 304.070). This provision was also contained in SS/SCS/SB 239 et al (2007).

COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE INSPECTIONS - This act requires the state patrol to establish a program to approve local law enforcement officers with respect to enforcing commercial motor vehicle laws. The certification procedures approved by the Highway Patrol shall include training, testing, on-the-job experience, data collection and other prescribed components. The certification procedures shall meet the requirements established by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). The Highway Patrol is authorized to establish reasonable fees to recover the costs of training and certification. The act grandfathers law enforcement officers who have received CVSA certification prior to January 1, 2009 (Section 304.232).

Beginning January 1, 2009, only law enforcement officers that have been approved by the Missouri State Highway Patrol under the act, members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, or commercial vehicle enforcement officers shall have the authority to conduct random roadside examinations or inspections to determine compliance with the commercial motor vehicle weight and size limit laws (Sections 304.170 to 304.230), and only such officers shall have the authority, with or without probable cause to believe that the size or weight is in excess of that permitted by the law, to require the driver, operator, owner, lessee, or bailee, to stop, drive, or otherwise move to a location to determine compliance with the law. A law enforcement officer not certified under the act, however, may stop a vehicle that has a visible external safety defect that could cause immediate harm to the traveling public. In the course of a stop, the law enforcement officer shall identify to the driver the defect that caused the stop. If the vehicle passes the roadside inspection, the law enforcement officer, state highway patrolman, or other authorized person shall issue such vehicle a Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance inspection decal to be affixed to the vehicle (Section 304.230 and 304.232). These provisions can be found in SCS/SB 484 (2007).

AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE FOR PROCEEDING THROUGH REDLIGHT WITH A MOTORCYCLE ("DEAD RED")- This act provides that a person operating a motorcycle or bicycle who enters or crosses an intersection controlled by a traffic-control signal against a red light shall have an affirmative defense to that charge if the person establishes all of the following conditions:

(1) The motorcycle or bicycle has been brought to a complete stop;

(2) The traffic signal continues to show a red light for an unreasonable time;

(3) The traffic signal is apparently malfunctioning or, if programmed or engineered to change to a green light only after detecting the approach of a motor vehicle, the signal has apparently failed to detect the arrival of the motorcycle; and

(4) No motor vehicle or person is approaching on the street or highway to be crossed or entered or is so far away from the intersection that it does not constitute an immediate hazard.

The affirmative defense applies only to a violation for entering or crossing an intersection controlled by a traffic-control signal against a red light and does not provide a defense to any other civil or criminal action (Section 304.281). A similar provision was contained in SB 614 (2007) and SCS/SB 969 (2006). This provision is also contained in SS/SCS/SB 239 et al (2007).

MOTORCYCLE HEADLAMP MODULATORS - This act allows a motorcycle headlamp to be wired or equipped to allow either its upper beam or its lower beam, but not both, to modulate from a higher intensity to a lower intensity at a rate of modulation of 200 to 280 cycles per minute. A headlamp modulator installed on a motorcycle with two headlamps shall be wired in a manner to prevent the headlamps from modulating at different rates or not in synchronization with each other. A headlamp modulator installed on a motorcycle shall meet the standards prescribed by federal law (Section 307.100). This provision is also contained in SB 614 (2007). This provision is also contained in SS/SCS/SB 239 et al (2007).

SCHOOL BUS EXEMPTION FROM CHILD PASSENGER RESTRAINT LAW - This act provides that the child passenger restraint law shall not apply to school buses transporting children 4 years of age or older regardless whether such buses are being used for educational, religious or other purposes. The current exemption only applies to school buses used for educational purposes. This portion of the act contains an emergency clause (Section 307.179). This provision may also be found in SB 445 (2007). This provision was also contained in SS/SCS/SB 239 et al (2007).

IMPLEMENTATION OF UNIFIED CARRIER REGISTRATION ACT - This act authorizes the State Highways and Transportation Commission to take the necessary steps to implement and administer a state plan to conform with the Unified Carrier Registration Act (UCR Act)of 2005. The federal UCR Act includes provisions to eliminate the Single State Registration System (SSRS) by January 2007 and replace it with the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Agreement (Sections 390.021 and 390.136). The act also repeals Section 390.071 (pertaining to the issuance of interstate motor carrier permits) and Section 622.095 (relating to the single state registration system). These provisions were contained in SB 200 (2007).

CROSSING SOLID YELLOW CENTER STRIPE - Under this act, a vehicle shall not be driven to the left of a solid yellow center stripe except when executing a lawful turn or when overtaking a vehicle that is traveling at a speed less 25 miles per hour, when avoiding debris in the roadway, or when passing a bicycle (Section 304.016).

FALSE STATEMENTS - This act increases the penalty for making a false unsworn statement or affidavit in the driver's license process from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class D felony (Section 302.230).

HAZARDOUS MATERIAL INDORSEMENT REVOCATION - This act requires the state to immediately revoke a hazardous material indorsement upon receipt of an Initial Determination of Threat Assessment and Immediate Revocation from the Transportation Security Administration. The state must revoke or deny a hazardous material indorsement within 15 days of receipt of a final determination (Section 302.735).

FARMER CDL EXEMPTION - This act clarifies the CDL exemption for persons driving farm vehicles. In order to qualify for the exemption, the farm vehicle must be controlled by a farmer or family member, be used to transport agricultural products, machinery, or supplies to or from a farm, not be used in the operations of a common or contract carrier, and be used within 150 miles of the farmer's farm (Section 302.775).

DELINQUENCY FEES - This act increases the penalties on delinquent outboard motor certificate of title applications from $10 to $25 for each 30 days of delinquency (not to exceed $200)(Section 306.535).

LIENS ON MOTOR VEHICLES FOR STORAGE OR SERVICES - This act modifies the law governing liens on motor vehicles for storage and repair fees. Under the act, a lienholder may apply for a title to a motor vehicle if the statutory notice is returned marked "not forwardable" or "addressee unknown." The application for the lien must be accompanied by a copy of the statutory notice given to the owner of the motor vehicle and other lienholders of interest. The act removes the requirement that the Department of Revenue must notify the motor vehicle owner or other lienholder of interest before issuing a lien title. The act adds a provision which allows the motor vehicle owner, trailer owner, vessel owner, etc. to file a petition to challenge whether such chattel was wrongfully taken (Section 430.082).

SALVAGE VEHICLES - This act modifies the definition of salvage vehicle by clarifying that the damaged vehicle was purchased during a year that is no more than 6 years after the manufacturer's model year designation for such vehicle (Section 301.010).

TEMPORARY VESSEL CERTIFICATES ISSUANCE - This act allows Department of Revenue designees to issue temporary vessel certificates of registration (Section 306.016).

MISSOURI VEHICLE PROTECTION PRODUCT ACT - This act establishes the Missouri Vehicle Protection Product Act. Under the act, a person would be prohibited from selling or offering for sale a vehicle protection product in Missouri unless the seller, warrantor, and any administrator complies with the provisions of the proposed act. A vehicle protection product warrantor, a seller of a vehicle protection product, or a warranty administrator that complies with the act shall not be subject to any other provisions of the state insurance code. The proposed act would apply to all warranted products sold or offered for sale on or after January 1, 2009. The failure of any person to comply with the Act before its effective date would not be admissible in any court proceeding, administrative proceeding, arbitration, or alternative dispute resolution proceeding and may not be used to prove that the action of any person or the vehicle protection product was unlawful or otherwise improper. The vehicle product protection provisions have an effective date of January 1, 2009. This act is substantially similar to SB 902 (2008) and SCS/SB 297 (2007) and SB 1058 (2006).

UTILITY VEHICLES - This act defines the term "utility vehicle" as any motorized vehicle manufactured and used exclusively for off-highway purposes which is 63 inches or less in width, has an unladen dry weight of 1,900 pounds or less, travels on four or six wheels, and is used primarily for agricultural, landscaping, lawn care, or maintenance purposes. Under the act, a utility vehicle shall not be operated upon the highways of this state except under certain circumstances delineated in the act. No person shall operate a utility vehicle within any stream or river except by an operator who owns the property or has permission to be on the property on which the waterway flows through or when fording a low-water crossing. A person operating a utility vehicle on a highway shall have a valid operator's or chauffeur's license. The vehicle shall not be operated at a speed of more than 30 miles per hour on a highway. No operator of a utility vehicle shall carry a passenger, except for agricultural purposes, unless the seat of the utility vehicle is designed to carry more than one person. Utility vehicles are exempt from titling and registration. This portion of the act is substantially similar to SB 774 (2008)(Section 304.032).

CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR PEACE OFFICERS - Peace officers who make traffic stops shall receive 3 hours of training within the continuing education 3 year reporting period. The director of the Department of Public Safety may waive continuing education requirements for licensees who have been activated for military duty (Section 590.050).

MOTOR CARRIER TRANSPORTATION INDEMNITY PROVISIONS - This act makes indemnity agreements in motor carrier transportation contracts which purport to indemnify a party against loss from negligence or intentional acts void and unenforceable. Motor carrier transportation contracts shall not include Uniform Intermodal Interchange and Facilities Access Agreements (Section 390.372). This provision was contained in SB 39 (2007).

SALVAGE POOL - This act specifies that it is the operator of a salvage pool or salvage disposal sale or the subsequent purchaser who must stamp the words "FOR EXPORT ONLY" on the face of the title and each unused reassignment space on the back of the title and forward the title to the Department of Revenue (Section 301.218). This portion of the act is substantially similar to HB 1618 (2008).

INCREASED COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE WEIGHTS - This act raises the weight limits on certain commercial motor vehicles with specific axle configurations to 85,500 pounds. The 85,500 total gross weight limitation shall only apply to vehicles being operated on U.S. Highway 65 or U.S. Highway 36. The act also creates corresponding registration fees for the new weight limits (sections 301.057, 301.058, and 304.180).

EXEMPTION FROM REISSUANCE REQUIREMENT - This act exempts permanent nonexpiring license plates that are issued to certain commercial motor vehicles and trailers from the new plate design and reissuance requirements that take effect on January 1, 2009 (Section 301.130).

LICENSE PLATE REFUND - This act allows a motor vehicle owner to receive a refund for the unused portion of a registration fee, provided such unused portion is in an amount of five dollars or greater, when the owner sells the motor vehicle and does not replace it with another. Under the current law, persons can receive credit for unused portion of a registration fee if they cannot transfer their license plates to a newly acquired vehicle due to a change of vehicle category (Section 301.140). This portion of the act is similar to SB 955 (2008).

TRANSPORTING RADIOACTIVE WASTE - Under this act, shippers shipping radioactive waste in Missouri shall be subject to statutory fees established by the act. State-funded institutions of higher education who ship nuclear waste shall be exempt from the statutory fees but such institutions shall reimburse the Missouri Highway Patrol for costs associated with shipment escorts. The fee structure is described in the act and the Department of Natural Resources in coordination with the Departments of Health and Senior Services, and Public Safety may promulgate rules necessary to carry out the provisions of the act. Any shipper who fails to pay a fee or to provide notice of a shipment to the Department of Natural Resources shall be liable for a civil penalty of an amount not to exceed ten times the amount of the original fee assessed and not paid.

The fees assessed and collected under the act shall be deposited into the environmental radiation monitoring fund. The department of natural resources may use moneys in the fund for the purposes delineated in the act. The act requires the Department of Natural Resources to prepare a report for the General Assembly beginning December 31, 2008, and every two years thereafter on all activities relating to the environmental radiation monitoring fund.

The provisions of this act do not apply to radioactive waste being shipped by or for the federal government for military or national defense purposes. This portion of the act shall sunset six years after the effective date of the section unless reauthorized by the General Assembly. This act requires shipments by rail of high level radioactive waste to move across that state as quickly as possible and avoid stopping in populated areas (Sections 260.392, 260.398, 260.399 and 260.750). These provisions are contained in SB 919 (2008).

DRUNK DRIVING VICTIM MEMORIAL SIGN PROGRAM - Under this act, the Department of Transportation shall establish and administer a drunk driving victim memorial sign program. This act shall be known as "David's Law." The signs shall be placed at or near the scene of the accident. The signs shall be attached to an existing highway sign, street light, or guard rail. The signs shall be placed upon the state highways in accordance with placement guidelines adopted by the department, and any applicable federal limitations or conditions on highway signage, including location and spacing. The department shall adopt, by rules and regulations, program guidelines for the application for and placement of signs authorized by this section, including, but not limited to, the sign application and qualification process, the procedure for the dedication of signs, and procedures for the replacement or restoration of any signs that are damaged or stolen. Any person may apply to the Department of Transportation to sponsor a drunk driving victim memorial sign in memory of an immediate family member who died as a result of a motor vehicle accident caused by a person who was shown to have been operating a motor vehicle in violation of an alcohol-related traffic law at the time of the accident. Upon the request of an immediate family member of the deceased victim involved in a drunk driving accident, the department shall place a sign in accordance with the provisions of the act. A person who is not a member of the victim's immediate family may also submit a request to have a sign placed under this section if that person also submits the written consent of a victim's immediate family member. The department shall charge the sponsoring party a fee to cover the department's cost in designing, constructing, placing, and maintaining the sign. Signs erected under the act shall remain in place for a period of ten years. After such date, the signs may be renewed for another 10 years after payment of appropriate maintenance fees. The signs developed by the department shall resemble a Missouri license plate and shall feature the words "Drunk Driving Victim!", the initials of the deceased victim, the month and year in which the victim of the drunk driving accident was killed, and the phrase "Who's Next?". Under the act, all private roadside memorials or markers commemorating the death of a drunk driving victim are prohibited. No person, other than a Department of Transportation employee or the department's designee, may erect a drunk driving victim memorial sign. This portion of the act is similar to SB 881 (2008) and SB 185 (2007) (Section 227.295)(SA 1).

COMMERCIAL INSERTS PROHIBITION - This act prohibits commercial inserts or other forms of advertising from accompanying motor vehicle registration notices. This portion of the act is identical to SB 890 (2008) and SB 190 (2007)(Section 301.040)(SA 2).

EMISSIONS INSPECTION EXEMPTION - This act modifies the state emissions law to allow motorists to operate their vehicle for 30 days beyond the vehicle's registration expiration without a current state registration license for the purposes of resetting their vehicle's readiness monitors and passing the on-board diagnostic (OBD) retest. Motorists must keep a copy of the most recent failing OBD test results in their vehicle to present to law enforcement. Motorists would still be liable for late registration penalties. This portion of the act is similar to SB 936 (2008)(Section 643.340)(SA 5).

WATER PATROL CAP - This act removes the ninety-nine member cap on the Water Patrol membership. This portion of the act is similar to SB 1187 (2008)(Section 306.228) (SA 6).

SCHOOL BUS MOTOR FUEL TAX EXEMPTION - This act exempts motor fuel used for school buses, by school districts or persons contracted with school districts to provide school bus services. The exemption provided by this act will be granted to the school district for which the fuel is consumed in the form of a refund, regardless of whether the school district paid the tax or the tax was paid by persons contracted with the district to provide school bus services. This act is identical to SB 722 (2008) and SB 421 (2007)(Section 142.815)(SA 8).

PRIOR DWI AND INTOXICATION-RELATED OFFENSES - This act attempts to rectify a recent Supreme Court ruling which held that a defendant's prior guilty plea and suspended imposition of sentence in municipal court could not be used to enhance the punishment for the defendant's new intoxication-related traffic offense. This act specifies that a plea of guilty or a finding of guilty followed by incarceration, a suspended imposition of sentence, suspended execution of sentence, probation or parole or any combination thereof in any intoxication-related traffic offense in a state, county or municipal court shall be treated as a prior conviction for purposes of enhanced punishment under Section 577.023 (Section 577.023)(SA 10).

MONTHLY REPORT FOR KEY SHIPMENTS OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS - This act requires railroad companies to provide the Missouri Emergency Response Commission with a monthly report of all key shipments of hazardous materials which were transported by the company through the state. The act delineates what the report must contain (Section 1)(SA 11).

DWI COURTS - This act provides that any judicial circuit may establish a DWI court for the purpose of providing an alternative for the disposition of cases involving any criminal charge for an intoxicated-related traffic offense involving the use or abuse of alcohol, or any case in which it is alleged that a person was operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .20 or higher. Such cases may be referred to an existing drug court in the circuit, or the circuit may establish a separate DWI court. If a separate court is established, the majority of the judges in the circuit may designate a judge to hear such cases, or, subject to appropriations and funding, may appoint a person or person to act as DWI court commissioner. Participants who successfully complete the treatment program may be granted a suspended execution of sentence, or may have the sentence or penalty be reduced or modified, but shall not be granted a suspended imposition of sentence (Section 478.001)(SA 12).

STEPHEN WITTE