2007 Regular Session
By: Representative Mims
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 63-5-51, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT HIGHWAY SAFETY PATROL OFFICERS SHALL BE USED TO ESCORT THE MOVEMENT OVER THE HIGHWAYS OF THIS STATE OF OVER-SIZE VEHICLES FOR WHICH THE MISSISSIPPI TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION HAS ISSUED A SPECIAL PERMIT; TO PROVIDE FOR AN ADDITIONAL FEE TO DEFRAY THE COSTS INCURRED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY FOR PROVIDING SUCH ESCORT SERVICES; TO CREATE A SPECIAL FUND IN THE STATE TREASURY INTO WHICH SHALL BE DEPOSITED THE ADDITIONAL FEES; TO PRESCRIBE THE MANNER IN WHICH OFFICERS SHALL BE ASSIGNED ESCORT SERVICES DUTIES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 63-5-51, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-5-51. (1) (a) The Mississippi Transportation Commission with respect to highways under its jurisdiction and local authorities with respect to highways under their jurisdiction may, in their discretion, upon application in writing and good cause being shown therefor, issue a special permit in writing authorizing the applicant to operate or move a vehicle or combination of vehicles of a size or weight of vehicle or load exceeding the maximum specified in this chapter or otherwise not in conformity with the provisions of this chapter upon any highway under the jurisdiction of the party granting such permit and for the maintenance of which said party is responsible.
(b) The application for any such permit shall specifically describe the general operation and load to be moved, and the particular highways for which the permit to operate is requested, and whether such permit is requested for a single trip, or for continuous operation.
(c) The Mississippi Transportation Commission or local authority is authorized to issue or withhold such permit at its discretion. If such permit is issued, the Mississippi Transportation Commission or local authority is authorized to limit the number of trips, or to establish seasonal or other time limitations within which the vehicles described may be operated on the highways indicated, or otherwise to limit or prescribe conditions of operation of such vehicle or vehicles, when necessary to assure against undue damage to the road foundations, surfaces or structures. The Mississippi Transportation Commission or local authority may require such undertaking or other security as may be deemed necessary to compensate for any injury to any roadway or road structure.
(d) Every such permit shall be carried in the vehicle or combination of vehicles to which it refers and shall be open to inspection by any police officer or authorized agent of any authority granting such permit, and no person shall violate any of the terms or conditions of such special permit. However, permits covering the number of vehicles anticipated in any operation may be issued by the commission.
(2) The Mississippi Transportation Commission or local authorities, in their discretion, upon application in writing and good cause being shown therefor, issue a permit authorizing the commercial movement of one or more recreational vehicles or motor homes which comply with the provisions of Section 63-5-13. Such permits shall be valid for one (1) year from the date they are issued. A copy of the permit shall be carried with all such vehicles while they are being moved. The provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to the commercial movement of vehicles under a permit issued pursuant to this subsection if such vehicles comply with Section 63-5-13.
(3) Whenever a permit is issued by the Transportation Commission authorizing the applicant to operate or move upon any highway under the jurisdiction of the commission a vehicle or combination of vehicles with a size or load that exceeds the maximum specified in this chapter or that is not otherwise in conformity with the provisions of this chapter and such vehicle operation or movement is required under rules and regulations of the commission to be provided with escort services, such escort services shall be provided by law enforcement officers of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. At the time of application for any such over-size load, the applicant shall pay to the Department of Transportation a fee, in addition to the regular permit fee, for the purpose of reimbursing the Department of Public Safety for costs incurred in providing such escort services. The Commissioner of Public Safety shall establish and provide to the Department of Transportation a fee schedule for escort services based upon the number of trip miles, length of time that escort services are provided, the number of officers, vehicles and equipment that will be required to provide escort services and such other factors as the commissioner determines relevant. Highway patrol officers wishing to participate in the performance of escort services may submit their request to the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety who shall include their names on a roster. Officers shall be selected and assigned escort services by the commissioner on a rotating basis, with priority being given to officers who do not have other assigned duties at the time that the escort services are required. All such fees collected by the Department of Transportation shall be deposited in a special fund that is created in the State Treasury. Monies in the fund shall be expended, upon legislative appropriation, to pay the expenses, including extra compensation paid to highway patrol officers, that the Department of Public Safety incurs in performing escort services as provided under this section.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.