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SENATE BILL NO. 10
INTRODUCED BY A. MOHL
BY REQUEST OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
AN ACT REVISING THE LAWS RELATING TO THE MOVEMENT OF SLOW-MOVING VEHICLES; REQUIRING A SLOW-MOVING VEHICLE TRAVELING ON AN INTERSTATE OR A FOUR-LANE HIGHWAY TO TRAVEL IN THE RIGHT LANE AS FAR TO THE RIGHT AS POSSIBLE; REQUIRING A FARM VEHICLE THAT EXCEEDS 16 1/2 FEET IN WIDTH AND THAT IS TRAVELING ON AN INTERSTATE OR A FOUR-LANE HIGHWAY TO BE FOLLOWED BY A FLAG VEHICLE ESCORT; AND AMENDING SECTIONS 61-9-415 AND 61-10-102, MCA.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 61-9-415, MCA, is amended to read:
"61-9-415. Slow-moving vehicles. (1) It is unlawful for a person to operate on a state highway, a farm, rural, or county
road, or a city street of this state a slow-moving vehicle or equipment, an animal-drawn vehicle, or any other machinery,
including all road construction or maintenance machinery, except when engaged in actual construction or maintenance
work either guarded by a flag person or clearly visible warning signs, that normally travels or is normally used at a speed of
less than 25 miles an hour, unless there is displayed on the rear of the vehicle an emblem as provided in subsection (2)
this section. The requirement of the emblem is in addition to any lighting devices required by law.
(2) The emblem required by subsection (1) must be of substantial construction
, and must be a based-down equilateral
triangle of fluorescent yellow-orange film or equivalent quality paint with a base of 14 inches and a height of 12 inches.
The triangle must be bordered with reflective red strips having a minimum width of 1 3/4 inches, with the vertices of the
overall triangle truncated so that the remaining height is a minimum of 14 inches. The emblem must be mounted on the rear
of the vehicle near the horizontal geometric center of the vehicle at a height of 3 to 5 feet above the roadway , and must be
maintained in a clean, reflective condition.
(3) In addition to the requirements in subsection (2), on a highway that has only two lanes for traffic moving in opposite directions, when an overtaking vehicle being operated in conformity with 61-8-303 does not have a clear lane for passing as required by 61-8-325, the driver of a slower-moving, overtaken vehicle shall, at the first opportunity and when a safe turnout exists, move the overtaken vehicle off the main-traveled portion of the highway until the overtaking vehicle is safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.
(4) On an interstate highway or on any other four-lane highway, a slow-moving vehicle, subject to the requirements of this section, must be driven in the right lane as far to the right as possible, including the shoulder of the highway."
Section 2. Section 61-10-102, MCA, is amended to read:
"61-10-102. Width. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a vehicle, including a bus, unloaded or with load, may not have a total outside width in excess of 102 inches. This width for buses is allowed only on paved highways 20 feet or more in width.
(2) (a) Subsection (1) does not apply to an implement of husbandry or a vehicle used for hauling hay
, that is moved or
propelled upon the highway during daylight hours for a distance of not more than 100 miles if the movement is incidental to
the farming operations of the owner of the implement of husbandry or the vehicle used for hauling hay. If the implement or
vehicle is more than 12 feet 6 inches 12 1/2 feet wide, it must be preceded by flag vehicle escorts to warn other highway
users. This restriction does not apply to dual-wheel tractors under 15 feet overall width that are used in farming operations
or to movement on a county road within 100 miles of the farming operation of the owner of an implement of husbandry or a
vehicle used for hauling hay. Lights which that meet the requirements of 61-9-219(4) must be displayed on the rear of the
implement of husbandry or vehicle used for hauling hay. However, if the highway passes through a hazardous area, the
implements or vehicles must be preceded and followed by flag vehicle escorts unless the movement of the implements or
vehicles is restricted to a county road within 100 miles of the farming operation of the owner.
(b) An implement of husbandry or a vehicle used for hauling hay that exceeds 16 1/2 feet in width and that is traveling on an interstate or a four-lane highway must be followed by a flag vehicle escort.
(b)(c) A commercial vehicle that is hauling hay but does not qualify under subsection (2)(a) may be granted a permit
subject to the provisions of 61-10-121 through 61-10-127 and the following requirements:
(i) travel during daylight hours only for an oversize shipment of large round bales of hay, whether the vehicle is loaded or with an empty hay rack, up to 144 inches; when empty, a square red or orange flag measuring 12 inches on each side must be attached to each corner of the hay rack; and
(ii) travel day or night for any other shipment of baled hay, whether the vehicle is loaded or with an empty hay rack, up to 114 inches.
(c)(d) Subsection (1) does not apply to a commercial hay grinder moved or propelled upon the highway during daylight
hours for a distance of not more than 100 miles if the movement is incidental to operations of the commercial hay grinder.
A commercial hay grinder exceeding 102 inches in width must have a permit issued under 61-10-124. If the commercial
hay grinder is more than 12 feet 6 inches 12 1/2 feet wide, it must be preceded by flag vehicle escorts to warn other
highway users. Lights that meet the requirements of 61-9-219(4) must be displayed on the rear of the commercial hay
grinder. Movement of a commercial hay grinder that does not exceed 138 inches in width may occur on any day of the
week, including holidays, and is restricted to movement during daylight hours. Movement of a commercial hay grinder may
not exceed the posted speed limit, including the speed limit on an interstate highway.
(3) A safety device that the department determines by rule adopted pursuant to 61-9-504 to be necessary for safe and efficient operation of motor vehicles is not included in the calculation of width provided in subsection (1).
(4) For the purposes of this section, "county road" has the same meaning as the term is defined in 60-1-103."
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