Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/16/1993 03:38 PM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  The  second order  of  business to  come  before the  Senate                 
  Transportation   Committee  was  SB   110  (REQUIRE  USE  OF                 
  MOTORCYCLE  HELMETS).   KEITH  GERKIN,  Deputy Commissioner,                 
  Department of  Transportation, informed  the committee  that                 
  the bill was introduced because of  a federal policy where a                 
  decision was made in Congress that they should encourage the                 
  mandatory use of helmets by motorcycle riders in all states.                 
  Congress has put in law a requirement that if a state  fails                 
  to  require  motorcycle  helmets, that  they  will  divert a                 
  certain  amount   of  federal   highway  dollars   from  the                 
  construction part of  the program, which DOT/PF  manages, to                 
  safety education enforcement  managed by  the Department  of                 
  Public Safety.  Mr. Gerkin said the department  doesn't have                 
  any  problems with the Department of Public Safety or others                 
  doing  more  work  toward   highway  safety  and  education,                 
  however, the amount of money  is about $5.25 million federal                 
  dollars  each  year  that  would  diverted.    He  said  the                 
  department's  desire  is  that  the  state  adopt  a  law in                 
  conformance with the federal requirement which would require                 
  motorcycle drivers to wear the helmets.  He noted that there                 
  is  a  current  requirement  for  helmets   to  be  worn  by                 
  passengers and people under the age of 18.                                   
  SENATOR RANDY PHILLIPS  asked what the results were when the                 
  State of  Nevada challenged  the federal  government on  the                 
  speed limits.                                                                
  Mr.  Gerkin  explained  that Nevada  and  California  lead a                 
  strong effort to  do away with the  55 mph speed limit.   He                 
  said  Congress  has changed  the law  to have  certain speed                 
  limits  raised above  that.   He  noted  that a  significant                 
  portion  of the Parks Highway has a  higher speed limit.  Mr                 
  Gerkin said there have been some  states that have had funds                 
  sanctioned for failure to maintain roads.                                    
  Senator Randy Phillips asked  what the department's position                 
  is on changing the effective date to midnight, September 30,                 
  1993.  Mr. Gerkin said  the federal law requires conformance                 
  to be prior  to the next fiscal  which begins on October  1.                 
  He  said  leaving it  to  the  last minute  may  create some                 
  problems in getting  projects obligated  early in the  year.                 
  As  a practical  matter, the  department begins  to  use the                 
  money immediately,  but if  the law  is in  place and it  is                 
  clear that  it  will happen,  there probably  wouldn't be  a                 
  problem.    He said  he  was  handed a  memorandum  from the                 
  Governor's  Office in  Washington, D.C., where  the National                 
  Highway Traffic Safety Agency has  suggested that submission                 
  of  a  resolution  or  legislation  by  April  1,  would  be                 
  necessary  to ensure  certification  by October  31.   It is                 
  important that they know that the  bill has been signed into                 
  law by April 1.                                                              
  Number 455                                                                   
  There being  no further testimony  on SB 110,  Senator Randy                 
  Phillips moved to delete "July  1" and insert "September 30,                 
  1993" on  page 1, line 7.   Hearing no objection, the motion                 
  Senator Randy Phillips  moved that CSSB 110 (TRA), be passed                 
  out  of the Senate  Transportation Committee with individual                 
  recommendations.  Hearing  no objection, the bill  moved out                 
  of committee.                                                                

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