MULTISTATE HIGHWAY TRANSPORTATION AGREEMENT
61-10-1101. Multistate Highway Transportation Agreement -- enactment and text. The Multistate Highway Transportation Agreement is hereby enacted into law and entered into with all other jurisdictions legally joining in the agreement in the form substantially as follows:
Pursuant to and in conformity with the laws of their respective jurisdictions, the participating jurisdictions, acting by and through their officials lawfully authorized to execute this agreement, do mutually agree as follows:
Article I. Findings and Purposes
Section 1. Findings. The participating jurisdictions find that:
(a) the expanding regional economy depends on expanding transportation capacity;
(b) highway transportation is the major mode for movement of people and goods in the western states;
(c) uniform application in the West of more adequate vehicle size and weight standards will result in a reduction of pollution, congestion, fuel consumption, and related transportation costs, which are necessary to permit increased productivity;
(d) a number of western states, already having adopted substantially the 1964 bureau of public roads recommended vehicle size and weight standards, still find current federal limits more restrictive; and
(e) the participating jurisdictions are most capable of developing vehicle size and weight standards most appropriate for the regional economy and transportation requirements, consistent with and in recognition of principles of highway safety.
Section 2. Purposes. The purposes of this agreement are to:
(a) adhere to the principle that each participating jurisdiction should have the freedom to develop vehicle size and weight standards that it determines to be most appropriate to its economy and highway system;
(b) establish a system authorizing the operation of vehicles traveling between two or more participating jurisdictions at more adequate size and weight standards;
(c) promote uniformity among participating jurisdictions in vehicle size and weight standards on the basis of the objectives set forth in this agreement;
(d) secure uniformity, insofar as possible, of administrative procedures in the enforcement of recommended vehicle size and weight standards;
(e) provide means for the encouragement and utilization of research that will facilitate the achievement of the foregoing purposes, with due regard for the findings set forth in section 1 of this article; and
(f) facilitate communication between legislators, state transportation administrators, and commercial industry representatives in addressing the emerging highway transportation issues in participating jurisdictions.
Article II. Definitions
Section 1. As used in this agreement:
(a) "cooperating committee" means a committee composed of the designated representatives from the participating jurisdictions;
(b) "designated representative" means a legislator or other person authorized under Article XII to represent the jurisdiction;
(c) "jurisdiction" means a state of the United States or the District of Columbia;
(d) "vehicle" means any vehicle defined by statute as subject to size and weight standards that operates in two or more participating jurisdictions.
Article III. General Provisions
Section 1. Qualifications for membership. Participation in this agreement is open to jurisdictions that subscribe to the findings, purposes, and objectives of this agreement and will seek legislation necessary to accomplish these objectives.
Section 2. Cooperation. The participating jurisdictions, working through their designated representatives, shall cooperate and assist each other in achieving the desired goals of this agreement pursuant to appropriate statutory authority.
Section 3. Effect of headings. Article and section headings contained in this agreement may not be considered to govern, limit, modify, or in any manner affect the scope, meaning, or intent of the provisions of any article or section of the agreement.
Section 4. Vehicle laws and regulations. This agreement does not authorize the operation of a vehicle in any participating jurisdiction contrary to the laws or regulations of the jurisdiction.
Section 5. Interpretation. The final decision regarding interpretation of questions at issue relating to this agreement must be reached by unanimous joint action of the participating jurisdictions, acting through the designated representatives. Results of all actions must be placed in writing.
Section 6. Amendment. This agreement may be amended by unanimous joint action of the participating jurisdictions, acting through the officials of the jurisdictions authorized to enter into this agreement, subject to the requirements of section 4, Article III. Any amendment must be placed in writing and become a part of the agreement.
Section 7. Restrictions, conditions, or limitations. Any jurisdiction entering this agreement shall provide each other participating jurisdiction with a list of any restriction, condition, or limitation on the general terms of this agreement, if any.
Section 8. Additional jurisdictions. Additional jurisdictions may become members of this agreement by signing and accepting the terms of the agreement.
Article IV. Cooperating Committee
Section 1. Each participating jurisdiction must have two designated representatives. Pursuant to section 2, Article III, the designated representatives of the participating jurisdictions constitute the cooperating committee that may:
(a) collect, correlate, analyze, and evaluate information resulting or derivable from research and testing activities in relation to vehicle size and weight related matters;
(b) recommend and encourage the undertaking of research and testing in any aspect of vehicle size and weight or related matter when, in their collective judgment, appropriate or sufficient research or testing has not been undertaken;
(c) recommend changes in law or policy with emphasis on compatibility of laws and uniformity of administrative rules that would promote effective governmental action or coordination in the field of vehicle size and weight related matters;
(d) recommend improvements in highway operations, in vehicular safety, and in state administration of highway transportation laws; and
(e) perform functions necessary to facilitate the purposes of this agreement.
Section 2. Each designated representative of a participating jurisdiction is entitled to one vote only. An action of the committee may not be approved unless a majority of the total number of votes cast by the designated representatives of the participating jurisdictions are in favor of the action.
Section 3. The committee shall meet at least once annually and shall elect, from among its members, a presiding officer, a vice presiding officer, and a secretary.
Section 4. The committee shall submit annually to the legislature of each participating jurisdiction a report setting forth the work of the committee during the preceding year and including recommendations developed by the committee. The committee may submit additional reports as it considers appropriate or desirable.
Article V. Objectives of the Participating Jurisdictions
Section 1. Objectives. The participating jurisdictions hereby declare that:
(a) it is the objective of the participating jurisdictions to obtain more efficient and more economical transportation by motor vehicles between and among the participating jurisdictions by encouraging the adoption of standards that will, as minimums, allow the operation on all state highways, except those determined through engineering evaluation to be inadequate, with a single-axle weight not in excess of 20,000 pounds, a tandem-axle weight not in excess of 34,000 pounds, and a gross vehicle or combination weight not in excess of that resulting from application of the formula:
W = 500((LN/(N - 1)) + 12N + 36)
W = maximum weight in pounds carried on any group of two or more consecutive axles computed to nearest 500 pounds;
L = distance in feet between the extremes of any group of two or more consecutive axles;
N = number of axles in group under consideration;
(b) it is the further objective of the participating jurisdictions that the operation of a vehicle or combination of vehicles in interstate commerce according to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section be authorized under special permit authority by each participating jurisdiction for vehicle combinations in excess of statutory weight of 80,000 pounds or statutory lengths;
(c) it is the further objective of the participating jurisdictions to facilitate and expedite the operation of any vehicle or combination of vehicles between and among the participating jurisdictions under the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section, and to that end the participating jurisdictions hereby agree, through their designated representatives, to meet and cooperate in the consideration of vehicle size and weight related matters including but not limited to the development of uniform enforcement procedures; additional vehicle size and weight standards; operational standards; agreements or compacts to facilitate regional application and administration of vehicle size and weight standards; uniform permit procedures; uniform application forms; rules for the operation of vehicles, including equipment requirements, driver qualifications, and operating practices; and other matters as may be pertinent;
(d) the cooperating committee may recommend that the participating jurisdictions jointly secure congressional approval of this agreement and specifically of the vehicle size and weight standards set forth in subsection (a) of this section;
(e) it is the further objective of the participating jurisdictions to:
(1) establish transportation laws and regulations to meet regional and economic needs and to promote an efficient, safe, and compatible transportation network;
(2) develop standards that facilitate the most efficient and environmentally sound operation of vehicles on highways consistent with and in recognition of principles of highway safety; and
(3) establish programs to increase productivity and reduce congestion, fuel consumption, and related transportation costs and enhance air quality through the uniform application of state vehicle regulations and laws.
Article VI. Entry Into Force and Withdrawal
Section 1. This agreement becomes effective when enacted into law by any two or more jurisdictions. Thereafter, this agreement becomes effective as to any other jurisdiction upon its enactment of the agreement, except as otherwise provided in section 8, Article III.
Section 2. Any participating jurisdiction may withdraw from this agreement by canceling it but a withdrawal may not take effect until 30 days after the designated representative of the withdrawing jurisdiction has given notice in writing of the withdrawal to all other participating jurisdictions.
Article VII. Construction and Severability
Section 1. This agreement must be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes of the agreement.
Section 2. The provisions of this agreement are severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence, or provision of this agreement is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any participating jurisdiction or the applicability of this agreement to any government, agency, person, or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this agreement is not affected. If this agreement is held contrary to the constitution of any jurisdiction participating in the agreement, the agreement remains in full force and effect as to the jurisdictions affected as to all severable matters.
Article VIII. Filing of Documents
Section 1. A copy of this agreement, its amendments, and rules promulgated under the agreement and interpretations of the agreement must be filed in the highway department in each participating jurisdiction and must be made available for review by interested parties.
Article IX. Existing Statutes Not Repealed
Section 1. All existing statutes prescribing weight and size standards and all existing statutes relating to special permits continue to be of force and effect until amended or repealed by law.
Article X. State Government Departments Authorized to Cooperate
With Cooperating Committee
Section 1. Within appropriations available, the departments, agencies, and officers of the government of this state shall cooperate with and assist the cooperating committee within the scope contemplated by Article IV, subsections 1(a) and 1(b) of the agreement. The departments, agencies, and officers of the government of this state are authorized generally to cooperate with the cooperating committee.
Article XI. Funding
Section 1. Funds for the administration of this agreement, including participation in the cooperating committee and the actual expenses of the designated representatives, must be budgeted by each participating jurisdiction as appropriate.
Article XII. Selection of Designated Representatives
Section 1. The process for selecting the designated representatives to the cooperating committee must be established by law under this section.
Section 2. The persons authorized to represent the state of Montana as the designated representatives to the cooperating committee are the presiding officer of the senate highways and transportation committee and the presiding officer of the house transportation committee. The presiding officer may appoint a designee to serve in the presiding officer's place. The designee must be a legislator or an official of the Montana department of transportation.
Section 3. The presiding officers of the legislative committees shall each appoint one alternate designated representative. The alternate must be a legislator or an official of the Montana department of transportation and shall serve in the absence of the presiding officer.
History: En. Sec. 1, Ch. 224, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 235, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 358, L. 2001.