By Monte Miller
Missourian Staff Writer
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens last week signed a transportation bill sponsored by Senate Transportation Committee Chairman State Sen. Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan.
According to Schatz’ monthly report, Senate Bill 225 began as a simple bill to allow articulated buses used by MetroLink to operate in St. Louis, but became a vehicle for Schatz and House Transportation Chair colleague, Rep. Bill Reiboldt, to pass a collection of small improvements for transportation.
Included in this bill were provisions closing a loophole for the state’s ignition interlock law.
The language of the bill states current law allows repeat DUI offenders required to have an ignition interlock device installed on his or her vehicle to apply for an exemption to allow him or her to operate a vehicle owned by his or her employer.
Such variances shall not be granted where the offender is self-employed or owns the business entity that owns the vehicle.
An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a handheld breath-testing device that is connected to the vehicle’s ignition, horn, and headlights.
To start the vehicle, a driver must blow into the device without registering a blood alcohol concentration.
Senate Bill 225 included a victory for community colleges in Missouri, allowing two-year institutions to purchase and use the same highway signage four-year universities use, which are often larger and more prevalent.
Before the legislative session had ended in mid-May, East Central College President Dr. Jon Bauer said he believed not allowing community colleges to purchase the same signage was unfair and hoped the bill would pass in session.
This act allows camping trailers more than 25 years old to be permanently registered and be issued historic trailer license plates.
The bill modifies the definition of “autocycle” to include partially or completely enclosed vehicles with a non-straddle-type seating area and removes statutory requirements for certain safety features.
It instead requires that the vehicle meet applicable National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requirements or federal motorcycle safety standards.
The bill permits certain decorated veterans to park in parking garages for free at public colleges and universities in this state.
There also are provisions in the bill affecting:
• Assessed values of tractor-trailers;
• Vehicle composition requirements;
• National Guard vehicles;
• Articulated buses; and
• Commercial zones.