Sunday, 01 August 2021

Governor signs Wiggins

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday signed Senate Bill 773 by North Coast Senator Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa). The bill extends an existing vehicle length exemption for specified livestock carriers (cattle haulers) on portions of State Route 101 (SR 101) in the counties of Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino from vehicle length limitations.


Specifically, SB 773:


  • Extends the allowable kingpin-to-rear axle (KP-RA) length for exempted cattle haulers from 40 feet to 43 feet.

  • Limits the length of the semi-trailer to 48 feet.

  • Requires the SR 101 livestock truck exemption to sunset before Jan. 1, 2012, if the Secretary of State (SOS) is notified that the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) director has determined that the only possible adjustment to SR 101 to accommodate the truck sizes allowed to use these sections of the highway is the removal of any tree with a diameter of at least 42 inches, measured outside the bark at 12 inches above the ground.

  • Provides that if prior to Jan. 1, 2012, the Caltrans director determines that safety improvements to the portion of SR 101 have resulted in the reclassification of the entire segment as a terminal access route, the director is to notify the SOS of that determination.

  • Existing law provides an exemption to the vehicle length limitation until Jan. 1, 2012, for licensed carriers of livestock on portions of SR 101 in the counties of Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino, if the travel is necessary and incidental to the shipment of livestock. The exemption allows a truck tractor-semi-trailer combination of up 70 feet provided that the distance from the KP-RA does not exceed 40 feet.


Wiggins noted that since most of the beef grown in Northern California is shipped out-of-state, North Coast ranchers need to use out-of-state trailers to move their product.


She thanked Schwarzenegger for signing SB 773, which is now the sixth Wiggins bill that the Governor has signed into law this year.


“Livestock ranchers in Humboldt, Del Norte, and Mendocino counties have operated at a greater economic disadvantage when compared with livestock ranchers throughout the rest of California because they are limited by statute to use trailers with a KP-RA of 40 feet,” Wiggins said. “Approximately 90 percent of the equipment used to transport cattle and other livestock to out-of-state markets are trailers with a kingpin of up to 43 feet.


“Several tighter than normal turns along three very short sections of SR 101 at Richardson's Grove, Confusion Hill and Big Lagoon have prevented the North Coast livestock industry from utilizing 43-foot trailers to haul cattle. I appreciate the support of my colleagues and the Governor on SB 773, which will provide for the longer semi-trailers on this section of SR 101.”


Prior to 1999, the length restrictions on highways leading into and out of the Counties of Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino made the travel of most interstate trucks illegal.


The governor has until midnight on Sunday, Oct. 14 to decide whether to sign or veto 470 remaining bills passed by the Legislature in 2007.


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