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Amendments to the Vehicle Code

Amendments to the Vehicle Code

The Vehicle Code’s special provisions for agriculture are out-of date, and no longer effectively serve the transportation needs of today’s farmers.  And restrictions imposed under the Vehicle Code on farm transportation make it significantly difficult for farmers to complete needed planting and harvesting tasks in a timely and effective manner.

Both House and Senate have passed similar legislative amendments to the Vehicle Code to facilitate local agricultural transportation:

·   Senate-passed amendments contained in a single bill:

Senate Bill 390 (Prime Sponsor – Mike Brubaker)

·  House-passed amendments contained in a House bill package:

House Bill 2371 (Prime Sponsor – John Maher)

House Bill 2372 (Prime Sponsor – David Hickernell)

House Bill 2373 (Prime Sponsor – Michelle Brooks)

House Bill 2374 (Prime Sponsor – Jim Marshall)

Benefits to agricultural transportation provided in House-passed and Senate-passed legislation:

-       Would increase to 16 feet the maximum width that implements of husbandry may be used on roads (currently at 14 feet 6 inches for daytime use and 8 feet for nighttime use), with some additional requirements that implements at greater widths will need to meet.

- Would expand the maximum allowable distance allowances for implements of husbandry exempt from registration.

- Would allow implements of husbandry exempt from registration to be used for purposes other than the implement owner’s farm, such as providing custom farm services for another farmer’s farm, if the use occurs within the maximum distance allowed for the implement.

- Would expand the maximum allowable distance that farm vehicles with Type C registration exemption (over 17,000 pounds with annual inspection) may be operated between farms or between a farm and local agribusiness centers to 50 miles.  (The House-passed legislation would also provide the same expanded distance allowance for Type A exempt farm vehicles 10,000 pounds and less.)

- Would automatically exempt trailers and semitrailers towed by implements of husbandry and by farm vehicles from registration requirements when used within a prescribed distance of the farm.

- Would expand the allowable distance that multipurpose agricultural vehicles (agricultural ATVs) may be operated on roads between farms to 5 miles. The House-passed legislation would also increase the maximum width and weight of vehicle that could qualify as a multipurpose agricultural vehicle to 62 inches and 2,000 pounds.)

Current Status:

Senate Bill 390 is currently in the House Transportation Committee.

House Bills 2472 - 2474 are currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

PA Farm Bureau urges committee chairs and members, and legislators to give highest priority this fall in finally enacting legislative amendments to the Vehicle Code to benefit local agricultural transportation contained in Senate Bill 390 and in House Bills 2472 through 2474.

 

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