October 30, 2020
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HB 51

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to motor vehicle load weight limits;
3amending s. 316.535, F.S.; requiring specified scale
4tolerances to be applied to weight limits for vehicles on
5highways that are not in the Interstate Highway System;
6providing that specified tolerances do not apply to
7cranes; providing for determination of fines for
8violations of the total gross weight limits; amending s.
9316.545, F.S.; revising conditions under which vehicles in
10violation of specified gross or external bridge weight
11limits must be unloaded; providing for a reduction in the
12gross weight of certain vehicles equipped with idle-
13reduction technologies when calculating a penalty for
14exceeding maximum weight limits; requiring the operator to
15provide certification of the weight of the idle-reduction
16technology and to demonstrate or certify that the idle-
17reduction technology is fully functional at all times;
18providing an effective date.
20Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
22     Section 1.  Subsection (5) of section 316.535, Florida
23Statutes, is amended to read:
24     316.535  Maximum weights.--
25     (5)  With respect to those highways not in the Interstate
26Highway System, in all cases in which it exceeds state law in
27effect on January 4, 1975, the overall gross weight on the
28vehicle or combination of vehicles, including all enforcement
29tolerances, shall be as determined by the following formula:
W = 500((LN ÷ (N-1)) + 12N + 36)
33where W = overall gross weight of the vehicle to the nearest 500
34pounds; L = distance in feet between the extreme of the external
35axles; and N = number of axles on the vehicle. However, such
36overall gross weight of any vehicle or combination of vehicles
37may not exceed 80,000 pounds including all enforcement
38tolerances. The scale tolerance provided in s. 316.545(2) shall
39be applicable to all weight limitations of this subsection,
40except when a vehicle exceeds the posted weight limit on a road
41or bridge. The scale tolerance provided in s. 316.545(2) shall
42not apply to cranes. Fines for violations of the total gross
43weight limitations provided for in this subsection shall be
44based on the amount by which the actual weight of the vehicle
45and load exceeds the allowable maximum weight determined under
46this subsection plus the scale tolerance provided in s.
48     Section 2.  Subsections (2) and (3) of section 316.545,
49Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
50     316.545  Weight and load unlawful; special fuel and motor
51fuel tax enforcement; inspection; penalty; review.--
52     (2)(a)  Whenever an officer, upon weighing a vehicle or
53combination of vehicles with load, determines that the axle
54weight or gross weight is unlawful, the officer may require the
55driver to stop the vehicle in a suitable place and remain
56standing until a determination can be made as to the amount of
57weight thereon and, if overloaded, the amount of penalty to be
58assessed as provided herein. However, any gross weight over and
59beyond 6,000 pounds beyond the maximum herein set shall be
60unloaded and all material so unloaded shall be cared for by the
61owner or operator of the vehicle at the risk of such owner or
62operator. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, to
63facilitate compliance with and enforcement of the weight limits
64established in s. 316.535, weight tables published pursuant to
65s. 316.535(7) shall include a 10-percent scale tolerance and
66shall thereby reflect the maximum scaled weights allowed any
67vehicle or combination of vehicles. As used in this section,
68scale tolerance means the allowable deviation from legal weights
69established in s. 316.535. Notwithstanding any other provision
70of the weight law, if a vehicle or combination of vehicles does
71not exceed the gross, external bridge, or internal bridge weight
72limits imposed in s. 316.535 and the driver of such vehicle or
73combination of vehicles can comply with the requirements of this
74chapter by shifting or equalizing the load on all wheels or
75axles and does so when requested by the proper authority, the
76driver shall not be held to be operating in violation of said
77weight limits. Any vehicle or combination of vehicles which
78exceeds the gross or external bridge weight limits imposed in s.
79316.535(3), (4), or (6) over and beyond 6,000 pounds shall be
80unloaded and all material so unloaded shall be cared for by the
81owner or operator of the vehicle at the risk of such owner or
82operator. Any vehicle or combination of vehicles which exceeds
83the gross or external bridge weight limits imposed in s.
84316.535(5) shall be unloaded and all material so unloaded shall
85be cared for by the owner or operator of the vehicle at the risk
86of such owner or operator.
87     (b)  The officer shall inspect the license plate or
88registration certificate of the commercial vehicle, as defined
89in s. 316.003(66), to determine if its gross weight is in
90compliance with the declared gross vehicle weight. If its gross
91weight exceeds the declared weight, the penalty shall be 5 cents
92per pound on the difference between such weights. In those cases
93when the commercial vehicle, as defined in s. 316.003(66), is
94being operated over the highways of the state with an expired
95registration or with no registration from this or any other
96jurisdiction or is not registered under the applicable
97provisions of chapter 320, the penalty herein shall apply on the
98basis of 5 cents per pound on that scaled weight which exceeds
9935,000 pounds on laden truck tractor-semitrailer combinations or
100tandem trailer truck combinations, 10,000 pounds on laden
101straight trucks or straight truck-trailer combinations, or
10210,000 pounds on any unladen commercial motor vehicle. If the
103license plate or registration has not been expired for more than
10490 days, the penalty imposed under this paragraph may not exceed
105$1,000. In the case of special mobile equipment as defined in s.
106316.003(48), which qualifies for the license tax provided for in
107s. 320.08(5)(b), being operated on the highways of the state
108with an expired registration or otherwise not properly
109registered under the applicable provisions of chapter 320, a
110penalty of $75 shall apply in addition to any other penalty
111which may apply in accordance with this chapter. A vehicle found
112in violation of this section may be detained until the owner or
113operator produces evidence that the vehicle has been properly
114registered. Any costs incurred by the retention of the vehicle
115shall be the sole responsibility of the owner. A person who has
116been assessed a penalty pursuant to this paragraph for failure
117to have a valid vehicle registration certificate pursuant to the
118provisions of chapter 320 is not subject to the delinquent fee
119authorized in s. 320.07 if such person obtains a valid
120registration certificate within 10 working days after such
121penalty was assessed.
122     (c)  Weight limits established and posted for a road or
123bridge pursuant to s. 316.555 and weight limits specified in
124special permits issued pursuant to s. 316.550 shall be deemed to
125include all allowable tolerances. In those cases when a vehicle
126or combination of vehicles exceeds the weight limits established
127and posted for a road or bridge pursuant to s. 316.555, or
128exceeds the weight limits permitted in a special permit issued
129pursuant to s. 316.550, the penalty shall be 5 cents per pound
130on the difference between the scale weight of the vehicle and
131the weight limits for such posted road or bridge or permitted in
132such special permit. However, if a special permit is declared
133invalid in accordance with rules promulgated pursuant to s.
134316.550, the penalties imposed in subsection (3) shall apply to
135those weights which exceed the limits established in s. 316.535.
136     (3)  Any person who violates the overloading provisions of
137this chapter shall be conclusively presumed to have damaged the
138highways of this state by reason of such overloading, which
139damage is hereby fixed as follows:
140     (a)  When the excess weight is 200 pounds or less than the
141maximum herein provided, the penalty shall be $10;
142     (b)  Five cents per pound for each pound of weight in
143excess of the maximum herein provided when the excess weight
144exceeds 200 pounds. However, whenever the gross weight of the
145vehicle or combination of vehicles does not exceed the maximum
146allowable gross weight, the maximum fine for the first 600
147pounds of unlawful axle weight shall be $10;
148     (c)  For a vehicle equipped with fully functional idle-
149reduction technology, any penalty shall be calculated by
150reducing the actual gross vehicle weight or the internal bridge
151weight by the certified weight of the idle-reduction technology
152or by 400 pounds, whichever is less. The vehicle operator must
153present written certification of the weight of the idle-
154reduction technology and must demonstrate or certify that the
155idle-reduction technology is fully functional at all times. This
156calculation is not allowed for vehicles described in s.
158     (d)(c)  An apportioned motor vehicle, as defined in s.
159320.01, operating on the highways of this state without being
160properly licensed and registered shall be subject to the
161penalties as herein provided; and
162     (e)(d)  Vehicles operating on the highways of this state
163from nonmember International Registration Plan jurisdictions
164which are not in compliance with the provisions of s. 316.605
165shall be subject to the penalties as herein provided.
166     Section 3.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

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