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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 10, 2020 10:51 AM
From: Representative Dawn W. Keefer and Rep. Barbara Gleim
To: All House members
Subject: Intrastate Commerce Exemption
In the near future, we intend on reintroducing HB 2479 from last session.  This legislation will help alleviate the unfortunate issue a portion of motorists are facing across our Commonwealth with law enforcement. Currently, law enforcement officials are citing motorists for failing to display a USDOT number on their personal vehicle and self-certify to PennDOT that the nature of their travel is intended for Intrastate Commerce. When, in fact, these motorists are not required to be subject to the provisions outlined within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) regulations.

For example, we have received numerous complaints of law enforcement officers pulling over motorists who are hauling a racecar to participate in a race, even when the motorist is not a professional driver, or acting on behalf of a business or corporation. Also, law enforcement officers have pulled over motorists towing a trailer with a lawn mower because they “assume” the driver is in the act of traveling to mow a person’s lawn for profit. Unfortunately, motorists are being pulled over based on an unjustified assumption that the driver is engaged in “commerce”, solely within the Commonwealth.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is responsible for providing the Federal regulations that govern Interstate and Intrastate Commerce, which states are required to adopt to receive funding from the Motor Carrier Safety Program. However, to be compliant with the FMCSA’s regulations and still receive such federal funds, a state may exempt a commercial motor vehicle from all or part of its laws or regulations applicable to intrastate commerce, provided that:
  1. Neither the GVW, GVWR, GCW, nor GCWR of the vehicle equals or exceeds 26,001 lbs.
  2. Transports hazardous materials requiring a placard. Or
  3. Is designed or used to transport 16 or more people, including the driver.
Our legislation would remove PennDOT’s authority to implement any regulations governing Intrastate Commerce than outlined within the FMCSA’s minimum requirements for a states’ laws and regulations governing commercial motor vehicles and commercial vehicles drivers engaged in Intrastate commerce and not subject to federal jurisdiction. This will ensure our Commonwealth is placing the proper restrictions on the motorist and vehicles who must be subject to them.
We ask that you please consider supporting this legislation.

Introduced as HB54