John Maddox

From when you can drive in the left lane to regulating autonomous cars, the 93rd General Assembly made several changes to laws regarding our roadways. This week, we want to update you on these upcoming changes. Act 1090 states a vehicle shall not be driven upon the left lane of a multilane highway, except as follows: (1) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing that movement (2) When all other lanes for traveling in the same direction are closed to traffic while under construction or repair. (3) When all other lanes for traveling in the same direction are in disrepair or are in an otherwise unsafe condition. (4) When a vehicle is preparing to exit the multilane highway on the left. Act 264 amends the law concerning the unlawful passing of a school bus. It states drivers must come to a complete stop no less than 30 feet from the bus when it stops to load or unload passengers. This 30 feet perimeter would apply to public roads, private or public property open to the general public, and any driveway or parking lot belonging to a public school. Act 1061 states that a person commits the crime of felony racing on a public highway if he or she is drag racing on a public highway and impedes or stops the flow of traffic or is part of a gathering of 10 or more individuals engaging in the same behavior. Felony racing on a public highway is a Class D felony. Act 558 makes leaving the scene of an accident with injuries a Class D felony. However, if there are serious physical injuries or death, the offender would be charged with a Class B felony. Act 619 establishes parameters with the Arkansas Department of Transportation for operating autonomous vehicles. Other transportation legislation passed this year include the following: Act 504-This removes licensing requirements for a motor vehicle salesperson and a recreational vehicle salesperson. This bill also creates the Automotive Technologist Education Grant Program. The Division of Career and Technical Education may then award grants for training in automotive repair and technology. Act 160-This bill states that if a driver who operates a commercial motor vehicle is convicted of using the commercial motor vehicle in the commission of a felony involving human trafficking, the driver shall be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life. Act 376-This bill amends the additional fees required to register a hybrid vehicle. The new fees for hybrid vehicles will be reduced from $100 to $50 starting January 1, 2022. Fees for electric vehicles will be $200, and the fees for a plug-in hybrid elective vehicle will be $100. Act 1067-This bill states that a person operating a bicycle upon a crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian. Act 926-This bill allows the operation of a personal delivery device in pedestrian areas and certain streets. Act 908-This bill would give Arkansans up to 24 months to take the driving portion of a driver’s test after passing the written portion of the exam. Currently, Arkansans are only given 12 months before they have to re-take the written exam. Act 913-This bill exempts domestic violence victims from having their  residential address disclosed on a driver’s license. Act 1093-This bill exempts certain types of vehicles such as golf carts and low-speed vehicles from the additional fee for electric and hybrid cars. Act 328-This bill exempts those with special military and veteran license plates from paying a fee for electric and hybrid cars. Act 538-This bill creates an exception allowing certain devices such as a trailer hitch, wheelchair lift, or bicycle rack to obscure a license plate. Act 871-This bill increases the maximum height of a vehicle authorized to operate on a state highway from 13’6” to 14’. Act 754-This bill requires drivers to stop at railroad tracks for any on-track equipment as they would stop for a train. Act 784-This bill states the maximum fine that can be imposed for a seat belt violation is $45. You can find other legislative summaries on our website

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