Virginia vetoes bad weather trucking bill

April 14, 20220

In Virginia, Gov. Glenn Youngkin vetoed a bill that was written in response to the crashes on I-95.

Hundreds of drivers were stuck on the highway for a day in winter due bad weather conditions. On April 11, 2022, Youngkin vetoed Senate Bill 706.

The bill originally restricted CMV traffic to the right lane of any carriageway with two or more lanes in winter weather conditions. The last version of the bill removed the lane limit language, but added a provision to prevent truck drivers from using cruise control and compression brakes during snow, sleet, or freezing rain.

The final version of the bill also included a provision to prevent law enforcement from stopping a truck for violating cruise control and compression brake bans.

Governor explained his actions in the message below:

Specifically, this bill is intended to prevent a traffic crisis such as the one that occurred on Interstate 95 on January 3, 2022 where semi-trailer trucks were immobilized by icy conditions, which prevented first responders from rescuing stranded motorists. However, the provisions of this bill would not prevent a similar incident from occurring. According to a report sponsored by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and the Virginia State Police, neither cruise control nor compression release brakes were found to have contributed to the traffic crisis.

Additionally, this bill excludes enforcement mechanisms to support its provisions, except for a secondary offense only provable by after-incident data. Consequently, this bill would impose burdens on Virginia’s trucking industry, as well as interstate transportation, without any demonstrable public safety or transportation benefit. More broadly, the Code of Virginia should not be littered with traffic provisions that law enforcement is not authorized to enforce.

Accordingly, I veto this bill.


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