Bill Summary for H 959 (2015-2016)

Summary date: 

Jun 15 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

Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.

Section 2

Amends the proposed addition to subdivision (2) of GS 136-18, concerning the powers of the Department of Transportation (DOT). Deletes the requirement that the entity affected by the DOT acting on its authority to widen, relocate, change, or alter affected lines or systems in its use of existing rights-of-way, or locating and acquiring additional rights-of-way, must bear the cost to move utility lines, pipelines, or other infrastructure located on State rights-of-way pursuant to the subsubdivision, except as authorized by GS 136-27.1 and GS 136.27.2, not the DOT.

Amends proposed subsection (18) of GS 20-118(c), which exempts a vehicle or vehicle combination from subsections (b) (weight limits for vehicles operating on State highways) and (e) (penalties) of the statute, if three conditions are met, by changing the first condition to require the vehicle or vehicle combination to be transporting metal commodities or construction equipment (previously, did not include transport of construction equipment).

Amends proposed subsection (i) of GS 20-119 (special permits for vehicles of excessive size or weight,) to add that multiple pieces of construction equipment transported on the same vehicle will be considered a nondivisible load for purposes of permit issuance pursuant to the statute.

Deletes proposed subsection (46) to GS 136-18 that directed DOT to provide North Carolina grid coordinates for at least one point for each parcel acquired by the DOT on or after January 1, 2017.

Section 3

Amends the directive to the North Carolina Turnpike Authority (Authority) to report to the Joint Transportation Oversight Committee on January 31, 2017, instead of October 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, on the number of one-time facility users who are charged more than $50 in processing fees imposed under GS 136-89.215 and civil penalties assessed under GS 136-89.216. Requires that, with the first report on the number of one-time toll facility users, the Authority must propose statutory changes to Part 2 of Article 6H of GS Chapter 136 (collection of tolls on turnpike projects) expected to have the aggregate effect of improving efficiency or reducing costs in collecting tolls while significantly reducing the possibility one-time users are charged more than $50 in processing fees imposed under GS 136-89.215 and civil penalties assessed under GS 136-89.216 (previously, required the report to include proposed statutory language to limit charging more than $50 in processing fees imposed under GS 136-89.215 and civil penalties assessed under GS 136-89.216 to one-time toll facility users).

Section 5

Amends GS 20-129(e), setting out the required lighting equipment for bicycles, to require every bicycle operated at night on any public street, public vehicular area, or public greenway to be equipped with a reflex mirror on the rear in addition to the other two requirements, as amended by the act.

Amends proposed subdivision (1) of GS 20-150(e), setting out the limitations on privilege of overtaking and passing in a vehicle, to remove the statutory reference to the definition of bicycle in GS 20-171.1.

Deletes the directives to the DOT in previous Sections 5.6(a) and 5.6(b) of the act, which required the DOT to develop and implement a program to educate bicyclists, motorists, and other users of State highways, and to report to the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee on the development of that program.

Section 10

Amends GS 20-48, concerning the giving of any notice by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), to add a new subsection to allow a person to consent to receive any notice under GS Chapter 20 by electronic delivery by completing a written or electronic authorization for the method of electronic delivery of any notice. Requires the authorization to advise the person that the following apply to consent to electronic delivery of notice: (1) consent is effective until it is revoked in accordance with the procedure set by the DMV; (2) the electronic delivery may be the only method of delivery, at the option of the DMV; and (3) a notice sent by electronic delivery to an e-mail or electronic address is considered to have been received even if the person to whom it is sent does not receive it. Makes technical changes.

Section 13

Amends GS 20-171.1, defining terms as they apply to Part 10A (Operation of Bicycles) of Article 3 of GS Chapter 20 (Motor Vehicle Act of 1937), by changing the definition of bicycle to include an electronic assisted bicycle, as defined in GS 20-4.01(7a), as enacted by the act.

Deletes the proposed revision of GS 20-58.4A(i), which delayed the mandatory participation date for the electronic lien system for motor vehicles.

Adds to subsection (e) of GS 20-166.1, concerning the investigation of a reportable accident by an officer, that nothing in the statute prohibits a law enforcement agency from providing to the public accident reports or portions of accident reports that are public records.

Section 14

Amends GS 124-5.1, which requires the State to deposit any dividends of the North Carolina Railroad Company to the Freight Rail & Rail Safety Improvement Fund within the Highway Fund, to allow the Fund to be used for the enhancement of short-line railroad assistance, in addition to the existing authorized uses. Adds other types of short-line railroad projects to the list of projects types that the Fund may be used for.

Amends GS 136-44.39, which authorizes the DOT to provide State and federal assistance to short-line railroads, to provide that assistance under the statute may include funds from the Rail Industrial Access Program and the Short Line Infrastructure Program, and such other programs as may exist or be established for these purposes (previously, may involve both the Rail Industrial Access Program and the Short Line Infrastructure Access Program, as well as other innovative programs).

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