CHAPTER 207

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 280

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1, 2, 3 AND 5

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21, CHAPTER 1, CHAPTER 21 AND CHAPTER 45, DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO OVERWEIGHT AND OVERSIZED VEHICLES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Title 21, Chapter 1, Section 101 by adding the following subsections:

"(63) 'Axle Load Scale' - A scale having a platform adapted to determine the combined weight of all wheels on a single axle or of all wheels on a tandum or tri-axle of a vehicle.

(64) 'Combination of Vehicles' - any series of trucks, truck tractors, trailers or semi-trailers connected to each other by whatever means.

(65) 'Multiple Draft Weighting' - separately weighing each end or individual element of a vehicle or combination of vehicles and adding together the results obtained.

(66) 'Overweight Vehicle' - any vehicle having a gross weight, including load thereon, in excess of that permitted by law; including but not limited to, a gross weight in excess the weight for which a valid registration has been issued.

(67) 'Person' - any individual, partnership, corporation, joint venture or legal entity of whatever nature.

(68) 'Scale' - a device used to determine or calculate weight.

(69) 'Single Draft Weighing' - weighing of the entire vehicle at one time by use of vehicle scales, axle load scales, wheel load weighters or any combination of these weighing devices.

(70) 'Vehicle Scale' - a scale adapted to weighing highway vehicles and possessing a platform on which all wheels of a vehicle may rest simultaneously.

(71) 'Wheel Load Weigher' - a scale especially adapted to determine the weight of any single or set of wheels on a vehicle.

Section 2. Amend Title 21, Chapter 21, Section 2116 by deleting the existing subsection (a) in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"(a) Whoever violates this Chapter shall, for the first offense, be fined not less than $10 nor more than $100.00 or be Imprisoned not less than 30 days nor more than 90 days or both. For each subsequent like offense, the person shall be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $200.00 or imprisoned not less than 90 days nor more than 6 months or both, in addition to which:

(1) Any person, being the operator or owner of any vehicle which requires a registration fee which is calculated upon the gross weight of the vehicle and any load thereon shall be fined at a rate double that which is set forth in subpart (a) above and be imprisoned as provided therein or both. In addtion, such person shall also be fined in an amount which is equal to the cost of registering the vehicle at its gross weight at the time of the offense or at the maximum legal limit, whichever is less; which fine shall be suspended, if within five (5) days of the offense the Court Is presented with a valid registration card for the gross weight at the time of the offense or the maximum legal limit for such vehicle."

Section 3. Amend Title 21, Chapter 21, Chapter 21, Section 2151(4) by repealing said section In its entirety and replacing in lieu thereof the following:

"(4) Such vehicles as are authorized to operate or to be moved as provided by 54504 of this Title shall be registered in the same manner as other vehicles. The fee for such registration shall be at the same rate required for trucks and semi-trailers."

Section 4. Amend Title 21, Chapter 29 by adding a new Section 2913 to read as follows:

"§2913. Insurance for Automobile Transports

All automobile transports, interstate or intrastate, shall be Insured against personal Injury loss and property damage loss in keeping with requirements of the interstate Commerce Commission relating to interstate automobile transport carriers."

Section 5. Title 21, Chapter 45 of the Delaware Code is hereby repealed In its entirety and replaced in lieu thereof with the following:

"§4501. Vehicle Size and Weight; General Provisions

(a) No person shall drive or move, or, being the owner, cause or knowingly permit to be driven or moved on any highway, any vehicle or combination of vehicles:

(1) Having a size or weight exceeding the limitations stated in this Chapter, or;

(2) Having a gross weight exceeding that for which it is lawfully registered, or;

(3) In violation of any provision of this Title, or;

(4) Having a gross weight exceeding that for which it could have been registered in this State If it is registered for a greater weight in another State, unless a Reciprocity Agreement between the two states is In effect, or;

(5) In violation of the rules or regulations of the Secretary adopted pursuant to Title 21 or this Chapter.

(b) For purposes of this Chapter, any combinatin of trucks, truck trailers, trailers and semi-trailers, not specifically authorized herien, shall be unlawfu. The following are authorized:

(1) A truck and trailer.

(2) A truck tractor, sem I-trailer.

(3) A truck tractor, semi-trailer, trailer.

(4) A vehicle string utilizing saddle-mount and/or full-mount.

(5) A tow truck and a disabled vehicle or combinatin of vehicles.

(c) Except as otherwise provided herein, this Chaper applies to every vehicle operated upon any road, street or highway within this State. The maximum size and weight of vehicles specified herein by type of highway shall be lawful throughout this State and local authorities may not alter such limitations, except as expressly provided in this Chapter.

(d) Any gross weight measurements made to determine compliance with this Chapter shall be taken so as to include both the vehicle and load. Any vehicle having a gross weight in excess of that allowable under this Chapter or in excess of that for which it is currently registered shall be considered as an 'overweight vehicle'.

(e) Any linear measurements taken to determine compliance with this Chapter shall be taken so as to include the vehicle and any load thereon Including any projections of any type, character or nature whatsoever, such as, but not limited to bumpers, steps, mirrors, and hose connections specifically excluding the tongue of a trailer.

(f) Except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, it shall be unlawful to operate any vehicle at a gross weight which exceeds the weight for which it Is registered and provided further that:

(1) The total gross weight including load, of a combination of a truck tractor and semi-trailer having a total of 5 or more axles shall not exceed 80,000 pounds.

(2) The gross weight of a vehicle equipped with two or more axles without power brakes on each rear hub, shall not exceed 22,000 pounds and it shall be unlawful to operate such vehicle in excess of 20 miles per hour.

(3) The gross weight of a trailer equipped with metal tires shall not exceed 8,000 pounds.

(4) Any vehicle, otherwise required to be registered pursuant to this Title which Is not registered and which requires a registration fee that is calculated upon gross weight shall be assigned a weight allowance equal to the highest legal weight for which that vehicle could be registered for the purpose of enforcement of the weight section of this Title.

(g) Except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, it shall be unlawful to operate any vehicle in this State in violation of length, height, or size restrictions provided in this Title and provided further that:

(1) No passenger vehicle shall carry any load extending beyond the line of the fenders on the left side of such vehicle nor extending more than 6 inches beyond the line of the fender on the right side thereof.

(2) The load upon any vehicle operated alone or the load upon the front vehicle of a combination of vehicles shall not extend more than 3 feet beyond the foremost part of the vehicle; and the load upon any vehicle operated alone or the load upon the rear vehicle of a combination of vehicles shall not extend more than 6 feet beyond the rear of the bed or body of such vehicle. Pilings and/or poles or mill logs, or nursery stock, or rowing shells, or steel beams, pipes, angles, channels and other length or steel, or other metal, or other articles impossible of dismemberment shall not extend more than 10 feet beyond the rear of the bed or body of such vehicle.

(3) A number of motor vehicles may be transported in combination, utilizing saddlemount and/or fullmount mechanisms and utilizing the motive power of 1 of the vehicles in combination, provided such combination of vehicles shall not exceed a length of 65 feet, and provided further that the equipment used in such combinations shall comply with the safety regulations of the United States Department of Transportation.

(4) Except as otherwise indicated herein, the limitations as to length of load stated in this Chapter shall not apply to a vehicle or combination of vehicles transporting boats, commonly known as crew or rowing shells for use in interscholastic or intercollegiate rowing contests, provided that such boats shall not exceed 70 feet in length.

(5) Neither the State, any agency or subdivision thereof, nor any person, firm or corporation shall be required to raise, alter, construct or reconstruct any underpass, wire, pole, trestle or other structure to permit passage of any vehicle having a height, including any load thereon, in excess of 12 feet 6 inches. The liability for damage to any person, vehicle, structure or other property caused by any vehicle having a height, including any load thereon, in excess of 12 feet 6 inches shall be borne by the owner and/or the operator of the vehicle.

(h) The provisions of 54503, do not apply to the following vehicles; provided howerver, that the liability for damages caused by any vehicle operated under this provision shall be borne by the owner of said vehicle:

(1) Fire apparatus owned or used by an organized fire company.

(2) Farm equipment being temporarily operated, moved or transported on a highway.

(3) A vehicle being towed with one set of axles free of the roadway surface.

(i) Any vehicle or combination of vehicles, otherwise not in compliance with this Chapter, but permitted to be operated within this State by virture of a special use permit pursuant to this Chapter shall be permitted to travel on such highways as shall be designated within the contents of said permit.

§4502. Size and Weight of Vehicles on Interstate Highways and U.S. Numbered Routes

No person shall drive or move or, being the owner, cause or knowingly permit to be driven or moved on any Interstate Highway or U.S. numbered route, unless otherwise posted, any vehicle or combination of vehicles having a size or weight in excess of that permitted by this Section. Provided however that such weight limitations and restrictions listed herein only apply to the Interstate Highway;

(a) Size

(1) No vehicle, Incuding any load thereon, shall exceed a height of 13 feet, 6 inches.

(2) The maximum length of a semi-trailer, including any load thereon, exclusive of truck tractor size shall be 53 feet.

(3) The maximum length of a trailer or semi-trailer in a truck tractor-semitrailer-trailer combination, including any load thereon, exclusive of tractor size shall be 29 feet.

(4) Buses shall not exceed 42 feet in length.

(5) Single vehicles including the load thereon shall not exceed 40 feet in length.

(6) No vehicle including any load thereon shall exceed a total outside width of 102 inches, exclusive of safety equipment, which shall not extend more than 3 inches wider on each side of the vehicle, or as shall be authorized by the Delaware Secretary of Public Safety.

(b) Weight

(1) Each weight stated in this section shall apply only to Interstate Highways and is a total gross weight which includes the weight of the vehicle, including load thereon and any enforcement tolerance applicable thereto.

(2) It shall be unlawful for the gross weight on any one axle to exceed 20,000 pounds.

(3) It shall be unlawful for the gross weight on any tandem or coupled axles to exceed 34,000 pounds.

(4) It shall be unlawful for the maximum gross weight for any vehicle to exceed the sum of the allowed axle weight for the number of axles actually bearing their full share of the weight upon the pavement or the smallest weight as calculated hereunder:

a. The gross weight of any vehicle or combination of vehicles shall not exceed the weights stated hereunder:

2 axles -40,000 lbs.

3 axles - 54,000 lbs.

4 axles - 74,000 lbs.

5 axles - 80,000 lbs.

b. The maximum gross weight of any vehicle or combination of vehicles on a group of two or more consecutive axles shall not exceed the weight as calculated by this formula.

W = 500 LN + 6000 N + 18000 N-I

1. For purposes of this subsection, W equals overall gross weight on any group of two or more consecutive axles to the nearest five hundred pounds, L equals the distance in feet between the extreme of any group of two or more consecutive axles, and N equals the number of axles in the group under consideration except that two consecutive sets of tandem axles may carry a gross load of 34,000 pounds, each whenever the overall distance between the first and last axle of the consecutive sets is 36 feet or more.

(c) The Delaware Secretary of Transportation may, on the basis of engineering and traffic Investigations, determine that certain Interstate and U.S. Numbered Routes cannot accommodate vehicles, otherwise permitted under this Section, and may thereafter prohibit operation of such vehicles on the Interstate and U.S. Numbered Routes so designated.

§4503. Size and Weight of Vehicles Except on Interstate Highways and U.S. Numbered Routes

Except as otherwise provided in this Chapter, this section sets forth the size and weight restrictions applicable to all roads, streets and highways within thls State. On all such highways, not otherwise excluded herein, it shall be unlawful for any person to drive or move, or being the owner, cause or knowingly permit to be driven or moved any vehicle or combination of vehicles exceeding the limitations and restrictions hereinafter provided

(a) Size

(1) No vehicles, including any load thereon, shall exceed a total outside width of 8 feet.

(2) No vehicles, including any load thereon, shall exceed a height of 13 feet 6 inches.

(3) No single motor vehicle, Including any load thereon, shall exceed 40 feet in length, and no combination of vehicles, including the load thereon, shall exceed 60 feet in length, except as otherwise provided in this section.

a. A truck and semi-trailer combination engaged in the transportation of motor vehicles shall not exceed a length of 65 feet exclusive of the overhang of the transported vehicles.

b. Buses shall not exceed 42 feet in length.

c. Piling and pole trailers and vehicles or combinations or vehicles engaged in the transportation of steel beams, pipes, angles channels and other lengths of steel, or other metals, or other articles impossible of dismemberment shall not exceed 70 feet.

(b) Weight

(1) A vehicle equipped with 2 axles, having each of the 2 axles equipped with 2 hubs, with a power brake on each hub, shall not exceed a total gross weight of 40,000 pounds.

(2) A vehicle equipped with 3 axles, having each of the 3 axles equipped with 2 hubs with a power brake on each hub, shall not exceed a total gross weight of 65,000 lbs.; provided, however, that it shall also be lawful to operate such a vehicle to and from any construction site located in this State when the total gross weight, does not exceed 70,000 lbs.; and it shall also be lawful to operate such a vehicle containing agricultural products when the gross weight, Including vehicle and load, does not exceed 70,000 lbs.; provided further that a fee of $100.00 per vehicle be levied for the use of this extra weight capacity.

(3) A vehicle equipped with 4 axles, having each of the rear axles equipped with 2 hubs, with a power brake on each rear hub shall not exceed a total gross weight of 73,280 pounds.

(4) The total gross weight of a combination tractor and semitrailer having a total of 4 axles shall not exceed 70,000 lbs.

(5) The total gross weight of a combination tractor and semitrailer having a total of 5 or more axles shall not exceed 80,000 lbs.

(6) The total gross weight or a combination tractor and semitractor having a total of 3 axles shall not exceed 60,000 lbs.

(7) The total gross weight of any combination of vehicles shall not exceed 80,000 pounds.

(8) Except as otherwise provided herein, no axle load shall exceed 20,000 pounds and with respect to any vehicle equipped with coupled axles (commonly called tandem axles) spaced less than 48 inches apart measured horizontally between their center lines, the combined weight on the coupled axles shall not exceed 20,000 pounds and, with respect to a vehicle equipped with coupled axles spaced 48 inches or more apart measured horizontally between their centerlines, the combined weight on the coupled axles shall not exceed 40,000 pounds. Whenever the total gross weight permitted in any provision of this Section exceeds the total gross weight permitted as calculated herein, this provision shall be void.

$4504. Permits for Excessive Size and Weights

The Secretary of Transportation may adopt such regulations, issue permits and may impose such fees as he/she may deem reasonable to Implement the requirements of this Chapter.

(a) Permits

(1) The Secretary of Transportation Is hereby authorized to adopt rules and regulations, to establish and set fees and to adopt procedures for the issuance of permits for the movement of vehicles and/or loads of a size and weight exceeding the maximum specified in this Chapter.

(2) Local authorities may adopt regulations under which permits may be granted for the movement of vehicles and/or loads of a size or weight exceeding the maximum specified In this Chapter over any highway for which the local authority has the sole maintenance responsibility.

(3) Every permit granted shall be in writing and shall contain a description of the vehicle and load, a statement of the fee levied and the name of the authorized officer of the granting authority. It may designate the route and certain restrictions, rules, conditions and regulations as deemed necessary.

(4) Permits may be obtained only for vehicles or trailers complying with this Title.

(5) A permit obtained pursuant to this section shall relieve no person of the obligation to comply with all laws, rules and regulations otherwise applicable.

(b) Types of Permits

(1) Single trip permits shall be issued for single trips from the designated starting point to the designated terminal point. Intermediate stopping points and round trips are not permitted.

(2) Multi-trip permits shall be issued for the period from the first day of the month to the first day of the following month. Each permit shall be valid as authorized herein; it shall not be transferable.

a. Utility companies may be issued a permit for piling and pole trailers. Each permit may be valid for up to 4 trailers at the time of issue.

b. Utility companies and governmental agencies may be issued a permit for a manned and/or unmanned aerial type single motor vehicle up to 50 feet long. Each permit shall be valid for an individual vehicle only.

c. Pole and piling haulers may be Issued a permit for piling and pole movements. Each permit shall be valid for an individual tractor only.

d. Multi-trip permits shall not be issued for any purpose not specifically authorized in subparagraph a., b. or c. of this paragraph.

(c) Display of Permit

(1) Every permit shall be carried in the vehicle to which it refers during the movement It authorizes and it shall be open to inspection by any police officer.

(2) Copies of multi-trip permits issued to utility companies may be carried by their vehicles in lieu of the original.

(d) Accuracy and Compliance

(1) No person shall fail to provide accurate information concerning the granting of a permit.

(2) No person shall violate any of the terms, condtions, restrictions, rules or regulations published in the policy or stated on the permit. A violation of any of the terms and conditions set forth in such permit shall render the permit null and void.

(3) Any permit obtained on the basis of false or misleading data is null and void. Any fee levied for It shall not be returned or transferred.

(4) Any permit which shall be rendered null and void for whatever reason shall subject the violator to such punishment as shall be permitted by law for persons not having obtained permits in the first instance.

§4505. Traffic Control Devices

The Secretary of Transportation may implement this Chapter by erection of traffic control devices and provided further that

(a) Traffic control devices may be erected on any highway establishing the maximum permitted weight of any vehicle including load, that may be driven thereover.

(b) Traffic control devices may be erected on any highway prohibiting the operation of trucks or other commercial vehicles thereover.

§4506. Enforcement Authority

Any police officer, having reason to believe that the weight of a vehicle and load is unlawful, or during the course of a routine check of all applicable vehicles, may weigh said vehicle by means of a portable or stationary scale and/or may require that such vehicle be driven to a designated scale location and be weighed. The officer may then require the driver to unload immediately such portion of the load as is necessary to decrease the gross weight of such vehicle to the maximum specified in this Chapter or for which it Is registered, whichever is the lesser weight. All such materials shall be unloaded and cared for by the owner or operator of the vehicle at the risk and expense of such owner or operator.

(a) It shall be unlawful for an owner or operator to fail to remove from the deposit area by a time specified by the officer any such material that has been unloaded. An owner or operator, or both, found to be in violation of this section shall be punished as provided in $4508 of this Chapter.

(b) It shall be unlawful and punishable pursuant to S4508 herein for an owner or operator to:

(1) Pail to obey traffic control devices erected to enforce this Chapter;

(1) Fall to stop at areas selected for vehicle weighing operations;

(2) Deviate from the route of travel to avoid State Police weighing operations;

(3) Deliberately destroy or damage traffic control devices or weighing equipment erected or established to enforce this Chapter.

(c) Any remedy or penalty imposed pursuant to this section shall not relieve the owner or operator of any requirement or penalty otherwise imposed by operation of law or pursuant to this Chapter.

§4507. Weighing Equipment and Procedures

The Secretary may adopt such regulations and procedures as may be necessary to implement this section and to select such equipment as may be necessary for law enforcement weighing purposes.

(a) Equipment used for law enforcement weighing may include, but Is not limited to, the following:

(1) "Vehicle Scale"

(2) "Axle Load Scale"

(3) "Wheel Load Weigher"

(b) The tolerance or permissible error from true value for weighing devices utilized for law enforcement purposes shall be those which have been adopted by the Division of Standards and Inspection of the State Department of Agriculture.

(c) Vehicle weights may be determined by either of the methods defined as follows:

(1) "Single Draft Weighting"

(2) "Multiple Draft Weighting"

§4508. Penalties

(a) Any person who violates any requirement of this Chapter, relating to size or weight of a vehicle or a combination of vehicles, shall be punished as follows:

(1) A first offense shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $25.00 nor more than $200.00 or by a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days or both.

(2) A subsequent like offense shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $100.00 nor more than $500.00 or by a term of imprisonment of not more than 60 days or both.

(b) Any person who violates any requirement of this Chapter, specifically relating to weight of a vehicle or a combination of vehicles, such that said vehicle shall be classified as a "Overweight Vehicle", shall in addition to whatever other penalties may be allowed by law be punished as follows:

(1) A first offense shall be punishable by a fine for all excess weight up to and including 5,000 pounds in the amount of two cents ($.02) per pound and a fine for all excess weight over 5,000 pounds in the amount of five cents ($.05) per pound or by a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days or both.

(2) Each subsequent offense, shall be punishable by a fine for all excess weight up to and including 5,000 pounds in the amount of five cents ($.05) per pound and a fine for all excess weight over 5,000 pounds in the amount of ten cents ($.10) per pound or by a term of imprisonment not to exceed 60 days or both.

(c) For purposes of this section a first offense shall be defined as one not previously committed by the person charged within the previous 24 months prior to the date of the offense. A subsequent like offense shall be deemed to have occurred if the person charged has previously been convicted or charged and subsequently convicted of the same offense within the previous 24 months prior to the date of this offense.

§4509. Jurisdiction

Justices of the Peace shall have original Jurisdiction to hear, try and finally determine alleged violations of this Chapter. Upon a finding of guilt, such Justice of the Peace may impose such penalties or combination of penalties as are permitted by this Chapter. Upon application of the State or defendant, in accordance with the rules of the applicable court, the matter may be removed to the Court of Common Pleas for determination. All other rules of the Courts of Delaware shall apply. Provided further that:

(a) The Justice of the Peace may require any or all defendants to post a bond in an amount sufficient to guarantee payment of all potential fines and costs which may be required to be paid should a Judgement of guilt be determined as to each such defendant or which shall be forfeit in the event the defendant fails to appear for a scheduled court appearnance. In the event, a bond shall be posted in an amount sufficient to cover the minimum potential fine and costs which may be imposed, upon the judication of guilt.

(1) Any such bond shall be made payable to the court upon demand in the event the defendant fails to appear for a scheduled court appearance or upon default on the judgement against the defendant.

(2) Upon forfeiture of the bond to the court such bond shall be made payable to the State upon expiration of the appropriate appeal period.

(1) Upon adjudication of guilt and payment of such fines and costs as may be imposed by the court or upon a finding of not guilty and expiration of the appropriate appeal period, such bond shall be returned to the defendant(s).

(b) In the event, either party applies to have the matter removed to the Court of Common Pleas, as provided herein, any bond imposed pursuant to subsection (a) hereof shall be reissued in the name of the appropriate court. All other provisions of subsection (a) herein shall apply.

(c) In the event either party appeals, such bond(s) issued pursuant to this section shall remain in full force and affect until such time as the matter has finally been resolved.

§4510. Federal Requirements

(a) Any conflict between a provision of this Chapter and any Federal law or implementing regulation, such provision of this Chapter shall be void and of no force and effect and unenforceable. Any such provision of this Chapter declared to be inoperable, as provided herein, shall be trought to the attention of the next session of the General Assembly and shall not, in any event, serve to invalidate any other provision of this Chapter.

§4511. Removal of Disabled or Abandoned Trucks and Trailers from Highways

A tow truck or wrecker may, without regard to the limitations of the length, weight, or width as specified in this Chapter, tow disabled or abandoned truck, trucks and trailers, or truck and semi-trailers from highways to a point where such disabled or abandoned vehicle can be repaired or stored."

Approved July 19, 1983.