WEST virginia Legislature
2017 regular session
House Bill 3064
By Delegate Atkinson, Mr. Speaker (Mr. Armstead), Hill, Sobonya, Westfall and Frich
[Introduced March 14, 2017;
to the Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §17C-17-11 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to permitting the Division of Highways to issue annual permits allowing vehicles of a size and weight exceeding certain specifications to operate over routes specified by the commissioner.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §17C-17-11 of the Code of West Virginia, 19321, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 17. SIZE, WEIGHT AND LOAD.
§17C-17-11. Permits for excess size and weight.
(a) The Public Service Commission may, in its discretion, upon application in writing and good cause shown issue a special permit in writing authorizing: (1) The applicant, in crossing any highway of this state, to operate or move a vehicle or combination of vehicles of a size or weight or load exceeding the maximum specified in this chapter or otherwise not in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, whether the operation is continuous or not, provided the applicant agrees to compensate the commissioner of highways for all damages or expenses incurred in connection with the crossing; (2) the applicant to operate or move a vehicle or combination of vehicles of a size or weight of vehicles or nondivisible load exceeding the maximum specified in this chapter or otherwise not in conformity with the provisions of this chapter; and (3) the applicant to move or operate, for limited or continuous operation, a vehicle hauling containerized cargo in a sealed, seagoing container to or from a seaport or inland waterway port that has or will be transported by marine shipment where the vehicle is not, as a result of hauling the container, in conformity with the provisions of this article relating to weight limitations, upon the conditions that: (A) The container be hauled only on the roadways and highways designated by the commissioner of highways; (B) the contents of the container are not changed from the time it is loaded by the consignor or the consignor's agent to the time it is delivered to the consignee or the consignee's agent; and (C) any additional conditions as the commissioner of highways or the Public Service Commission may impose to otherwise ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
(b)(1) The commissioner of highways may issue a special permit to operate or move a vehicle or combination of vehicles of a size or weight of vehicles or nondivisible load exceeding the maximum specified in this chapter or otherwise not in conformity with the provisions of this chapter over routes designated by the commissioner of highways upon terms and restrictions prescribed by the Public Service Commission, together with the commissioner of highways.
(2) For purposes of this section, nondivisible load means any load exceeding applicable length or weight limits which, if separated into smaller loads or vehicles, would: (A) Compromise the intended use of the vehicle, to the extent that the separation would make it unable to perform the function for which it was intended; (B) destroy the value of the load or vehicle, to the extent that the separation would make it unusable for its intended purpose; or (C) require more than eight workhours to dismantle using appropriate equipment: Provided, That the applicant for a nondivisible load permit has the burden of proof as to the number of workhours required to dismantle the load.
(c) The application for any permit other than a special annual permit shall specifically describe the vehicle or vehicles and load to be operated or moved along or across the highway and the particular highway or crossing of the highway for which the permit to operate is requested, and whether the permit is requested for a single trip or for a continuous operation.
(d) The Public Service Commission is authorized to issue or withhold a permit at his or her discretion; or, if the permit is issued, to limit the number of trips, or to establish seasonal or other time limitations within which the vehicles described may be operated on or across the highways indicated, or otherwise to limit or prescribe conditions of operation of the vehicle or vehicles, when necessary to assure against undue damage to the road foundations, surface, or structures, and may require the undertaking, bond or other security considered necessary to compensate for any injury to any roadway structure and to specify the type, number and the location for escort vehicles for any vehicle: Provided, That in establishing limitations on permits issued under this section, the Public Service Commission shall consult with the commissioner of highways, and may not issue, limit or condition a permit in a manner inconsistent with the authority of the commissioner of highways.
The Public Service Commission may charge a fee for the issuance of a permit for a mobile home and a reasonable fee for the issuance of a permit for any other vehicle under the provisions of this section to pay the administrative costs thereof.
(e) Every permit shall be carried in the vehicle or combination of vehicles to which it refers and shall be open to inspection by any police officer or authorized agent of the commissioner of highways or the Public Service Commission, and no person shall violate any of the terms or conditions of the special permit.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, the Division of Highways may issue annual permits allowing the operation of a vehicle or combination of vehicles of a size or weight exceeding the maximum specified in this chapter or otherwise not in conformity with the provisions of this chapter over routes designated by the commissioner of highways. All such permits may be issued only upon findings by the commissioner that the approved route including roadways and bridges is capable of sustaining the allowed load of the vehicles approved for use on the designated route without undue damage to the roadways and bridges on which they are operated and that the operation of the vehicles on the prescribed route do not cause undue danger or hazard to other traffic along the approved route.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to permit the Division of Highways to issue annual permits allowing vehicles of a size and weight exceeding certain specifications to operate over specified routes designated by the commissioner.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.