Bill Summary for H 959 (2015-2016)

Summary date: 

Apr 25 2016

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 959 (Public) Filed Monday, April 25, 2016
AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO THE TRANSPORTATION LAWS OF THE STATE, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE TRANSPORTATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE.
Intro. by Iler, Torbett.

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Bill summary

Identical to S 723, filed 4/25/16.

Amends GS 136-11.1 (Local consultation on transportation projects) by providing that "Action of the Board" (which requires notification to the affected city or county so that they can respond to the project) includes approval by the Board of individual applications for access and public service road projects, contingency projects, small urban projects, and spot safety projects that exceed $250,000 (was, projects that exceed $150,000).

Amends GS 136-18(2) (Powers of Department of Transportation) by dividing existing subsection (2) into subsubsections (a) through (e).  Establishes in new GS 136-18(2)c2 the power of the Department of Transportation (Department) to locate and acquire additional rights-of-way as necessary for the present or future relocation or initial location, above or below ground, of nonutility owned or operated communications or data transmission infrastructure.  Establishes that no agreement for use of Department right-of-way under subsubdivision GS 136-18(2)c retracts the Department's ownership and control of the right-of-way.  Authorizes the Department to adopt policies and rules necessary to implement the provisions of subsubdivision GS 136-18(2)c and to charge a one-time fee to defray the Department's administrative cost of reviewing encroachment submittals, payable upon initial application for the encroachment.  Makes technical changes.  Effective July 1, 2016.

Amends GS 136-89.214(a) (Bill for unpaid open road toll) to provide that the North Carolina Turnpike Authority (Authority) must send a bill by first class mail to the registered owner of the motor vehicle or the person who had care, custody, and control of the vehicle under GS 136-89.212(b) (establishing the criteria for a person to have care, custody, and control of a vehicle) for the amount of the unpaid toll, or with the written consent of the registered owner of the vehicle or the person who had care, custody and control of the vehicle, the Authority may send the bill by electronic mail to a designated electronic mail account rather than by first-class mail (was, must send a bill by first-class mail).

Repeals GS 136-89.193(c) to eliminate the requirement for the North Carolina Transit Authority (Authority) to submit semiannual reports to the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee (Committee) summarizing the Authority's activities during the preceding six months and any information requested by the Committee.

Amends GS 143B-135.100 (Use of State land for bicycling) to eliminate the requirement for notice of any land restricted or removed from use by bicyclists under GS 143B-135.100(b) to be filed with the Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation of the Department of Transportation (Division).  Eliminates the requirement for the Division  to keep a record of all lands made open and available for use by bicyclists under GS 143B-135.100 and make that information available to the public upon request. Eliminates the requirement for the Wildlife Resource Commission (Commission) to file notice of the Commission's restrictions on the use of bicycles on game lands where necessary to protect sensitive wildlife habitat or species to the Division.

Amends GS 20-7(m) to eliminate applicants for certification under GS 20-218 (Standard qualifications for school bus drivers) as school bus drivers from the applicants to whom the Division of Motor Vehicles may issue restricted instruction permits.  Amends GS 20-37.13(e) to eliminate the provision that states GS 20-7(m) governs the issuance of a restricted instruction permit for a prospective school bus driver.  Effective January 1, 2017, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

Amends GS 20-37.13(e) to provide that a commercial learner's permit is valid for a period not to exceed 180 days (was, for a period not to exceed six months and may be renewed or reissued only once within a two-year period).  Effective January 1, 2017, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

Amends GS 20-17.4(g) to establish that any person holding a commercial learner's permit or commercial driver's license or required to have a commercial learner's permit or commercial driver's license convicted for violating an out-of-service order shall be disqualified (except as provided in GS 20-17.4(h)) as follows: (1) A person is disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for a period of no less than 180 days and no more than one year (was, a period of 90 days) if convicted of a first violation of an out-of-service order while operating a commercial motor vehicle (was, if convicted of a first violation of an out-of-service order). (2) A person is disqualified for a period of no less than two years and no more than five years (was, a period of one year) if convicted of a second violation of an out-of-service order while operating a commercial motor vehicle during any 10-year period (was, if convicted of a second violation of an out-of-service order during any 10-year period), arising from separate incidents. (3) A person is disqualified for a period of no less than three years and no more than five years (was, a period of three years) if convicted of a third or subsequent violation of an out-of-service order while operating a commercial motor vehicle (was, if convicted of a third or subsequent violation of an out-of-service order) during any 10-year period, arising from separate incidents.  Effective January 1, 2017, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

Amends GS 20-17.4(h) (Violation of out-of-service order - special rule for hazardous materials and passenger offenses) to establish that any person holding a commercial learner's permit or commercial driver's license or required to have a commercial learner's permit or commercial driver's license convicted for violating an out-of-service order while transporting hazardous materials, as defined by 49 CFR 383.5, or while operating a commercial vehicle designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (was, 15 passengers), including the driver, must be disqualified as follows: (1) A person is disqualified for a period of no less than 180 days and no more than two years (was, a period of 180 days) if convicted of a first violation of an out-of-service order while operating a commercial motor vehicle (was, if convicted of a first violation of an out-of-service order). (2) A person is disqualified for a period of no less than three years and no more than five years (was, a period of three years) if convicted of a second or subsequent violation of an out-of-service order while operating a commercial motor vehicle (was, if convicted of a second or subsequent violation of an out-of-service order) during any 10-year period, arising from separate incidents. Establishes new subsubsection (3) providing that a person is disqualified for a period of no less than three years and no more than five years if convicted of a third or subsequent violation of an out-of-service order while operating a commercial motor vehicle during any 10-year period, arising from separate incidents.  Effective January 1, 2017, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

Amends Article 2C of Chapter 20 of the General Statutes by enacting new GS 20-37.13A (Medical qualifications standards; waiver for intrastate drivers), which directs that all commercial driver's license holders and applicants for commercial driver's licenses must meet the medical qualifications standards under 49 CFR 391.41 (Federal qualifications of drivers and longer combination vehicle driver instructors).  Allows any person unable to meet the medical qualifications standards under 49 CFR 391.41 to apply for a medical waiver, in writing and submitted to the Division of Motor Vehicles (Division), that, if approved, will authorize intrastate operation of a commercial motor vehicle for no more than two years.  Provides that any person granted an intrastate commercial driver's license waiver is permitted to maintain a commercial driver's license and operate a commercial motor vehicle in intrastate commerce provided that (1) the commercial driver's license must display a restriction to signify it is only valid for intrastate operation, (2) the holder of the license must submit to medical recertifications at intervals set by the Division, (3) the holder of the license must timely submit all documentation required by the Division, and (4) failure to meet any condition within the time period allowed will result in an automatic downgrade of the license holder's commercial driver's license to a Class C regular driver's license.  Effective January 1, 2017, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

Amends GS 20-66 by adding a new subsection (g1) that establishes that the registration of a vehicle renewed by means of a new registration plate expires at midnight on February 15 of each year.  Effective October 1, 2016.

Amends GS 20-7(f) (Duration and renewal of licenses) to provide that the Division of Motor Vehicles (Division) must issue to the applicant a temporary driving certificate valid for 60 days (was, valid for 20 days, and 60 days for a commercial drivers license).  Establishes that the temporary driving certificate is valid for driving purposes and cannot be valid for identification purposes, except when conducting business with the Division and not otherwise prohibited by federal law (was, valid for driving purposes only and cannot be valid for identification purposes).  Effective January 1, 2017.

Amends GS 20-7(c) (Issuance and renewal of drivers licenses, tests) to direct the Division of Motor Vehicles to require sign and symbol testing upon issuance of a license, and require vision testing as part of in-person, in-office renewals of a license.  Effective October 1, 2016.

Amends GS 20-7.1(a) (Notice of change of address or name) to provide that a person who has provided an e-mail or electronic address to the Division of Motor Vehicles (Division) under GS 20-48(a) (Giving of notice) must notify the Division of any change or discontinuance of that e-mail or electronic address within 30 days after the change or discontinuance.  Amends GS 20-48(a) by providing that instead of providing notice by personal delivery or United States mail, the Division may give notice under GS Chapter 20 by e-mail or other electronic means if the person to be notified has consented to receiving notices by electronic means and has provided the Division an e-mail address or other like electronic address for receiving notices.  Makes conforming changes to GS 20-7.1(a) and enacts new subsection GS 20-7.1(a1) to provide that any person who consents to electronic notification must notify the Division in accordance with GS 20-7.1(a), and if a person fails to notify the Division of any change or discontinuance of an electronic notification, any notices sent to the original or discontinued address will be deemed to have been received by the person and a copy of the Division's records is sufficient evidence that notice was sent to the person named in the record, at the physical or electronic address indicated in the record, and for the purpose indicated in the record.  Effective October 1, 2016.

Amends GS 20-43.1 (Disclosure of personal information in motor vehicle records) by adding a new subsection (f) that establishes that e-mail addresses or other electronic addresses provided to the Division of Motor Vehicles are personal information for purposes of GS 20-43.1 and can only be disclosed in accordance with GS 20-43.1.  Effective October 1, 2016.

Amends GS 20-53 (Application for specially constructed, reconstructed, or foreign vehicle) subsection (e) to provide that no title can be issued to an initial applicant for out-of-state vehicles that are 1980 model year or older (was, out-of-state vehicles that are 35 years old) or older.  Makes conforming changes.  Effective January 1, 2017.

Amends GS 20-57 (Division to issue certificate of title and registration card) subsection (c) to eliminate requirement that every owner must sign the registration card, upon receipt, with ink in the space provided.  Repeals GS 20-176(a1)(2) that made it an infraction for a person to sign the vehicle registration card in violation of GS 20-57(c).  Effective December 1, 2016, and applies to registration cards issued on or after that date.

Amends GS 20-4.01(27) (Definition of "passenger vehicles" under Chapter 20, Article 1 - Division of Motor Vehicles) by adding a new subsubsection (c2) to define motor-driven bicycle to mean a vehicle with two or three wheels, a steering handle, one or two saddle seats, pedals, and a motor that cannot propel the vehicle at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on a level surface.  Amends GS 20-4.01(27)(d1), by defining moped as a vehicle, other than a motor-driven bicycle that has two or three wheels, no external shifting device, and a motor that does not exceed 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement and cannot propel the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on a level surface, powered by electricity, alternative fuel, motor fuel, or a combination of each (was, as defined by GS 105-164.3, Sales and use tax).  Amends GS 20-4.01(23), defining a motor vehicle to not include mopeds or motor-driven bicycles [was, to not include mopeds as defined in GS 20-4.01(27)(d1)].  Repeals GS 20-4.01(21a), which defined moped as a type of passenger vehicle as defined in GS 105-164.3.  Effective December 1, 2016.

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