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FRIDAY, JUNE 8, 2007

Riley signs farm truck exemptions

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Gov. Bob Riley signed legislation Thursday to exempt farm trucks used only within Alabama from some federal transportation regulations, but he said the new law may have to be rewritten later if it is going to cause the state to lose federal funds.

The bill, which passed the Legislature overwhelmingly on May 31, was pushed by
the Alabama Farmers Federation and other agricultural groups.

It exempts mostly farm vehicles of 26,001 pounds or less from some federal motor carrier safety regulations, provided the vehicles are only used for intrastate commerce. Alabama has not yet enforced the federal transportation regulations, which require detailed record-keeping, limit driving hours and mandate that vehicles display Department of Transportation numbers.

Riley sent a message to the Legislature on Thursday, saying: I agree that general regulations which may make perfect sense when applied to major motor carriers driving through Alabama on a daily basis do not always make sense when applied to our farmers who use the highways much less frequently and generally in rural areas of the state.

Riley said he will also work with agricultural groups to seek federally approved exemptions to the legislation.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has warned that the Alabama legislation does not comply with the federal regulations and Alabama stands to lose $4.4 million annually in federal funds.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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