Transportation Committee – All Bill Summary 2021

SF 230 – Salvaged vehicles

SF 230 changes the threshold from 50% to 70% of the fair market value before a vehicle is considered a wrecked or salvaged vehicle.
[2/3: 46-0 (Excused: Hogg, Lykam, Nunn; one vacancy)]

SF 231– Special minor farm permit

SF 231 allows the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue a class C or M driver’s license to those between 14 and 18 who live on a farm or are employed on a farm. It limits the license from operating a motor vehicle with more than two axles or towing another vehicle. The licensee may operate from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., is restricted to 50 miles from point of origin to destination, and is limited to one unrelated minor passenger in the vehicle. The licensee may stop to refuel at a service station closest to the route travelled.

Current laws states that special minor permits will not be issued if the applicant resides within one mile of their school building. However, if the applicant resides on a farm or is employed for compensation on a farm, the distance between the residence and the school of enrollment will not apply. The special minor permit is subject to suspension or revocation for the same reasons and in the same manner as any other driver’s license.
[2/3: 46-0 (Excused: Hogg, Lykam, Nunn; one vacancy)]

SF 232 – Abandoned vehicles

SF 232 eliminates the requirement that a law enforcement agency or private entity that takes into custody an abandoned vehicle describe all personal property found in the vehicle. It also makes proof of insurance and a valid driver’s license a requirement from the person who received notice of an abandoned vehicle, or the person claiming on their behalf, if the vehicle is to be driven from the premises.
[2/3: 46-0 (Excused: Hogg, Lykam, Nunn; one vacancy)]

SF 234– Secondary road reclassification

SF 234 states when county supervisors and county engineers classify a road as Level C, the classification must apply to the entire portion of the road between the roads access points. It prohibits only a portion of the road or a bridge from being classified as an area service C classification, but does not apply to roads that end in dead ends. Current Level C roads not in compliance with this law have until January 1, 2022, to meet the requirements.
[3/17: 47-0 (Excused: Goodwin, Hogg, Nunn)]

SF 444 – Transfer of registration plates

SF 444 allows a person to surrender their registration card and plates to a county treasurer of any county in Iowa, rather than the county treasurer of the county where the vehicle is registered. It strikes the requirement that the maximum documentary fee be reduced by $25 after a statewide electronic system for titling, registration and related services has been implemented. The bill also addresses warranty services and states that a motor vehicle franchiser (automaker) must provide a franchisee (auto dealer) a list of time allowances for the performance of warranty services.
[3/17: 47-0 (Excused: Goodwin, Hogg, Nunn)]

SF 548 – Regulation of highway advertising devices

SF 548 amends Iowa’s billboard control laws to avoid any content-based discrimination. A recent Supreme Court case determined that government’s application of different standards for different types of signs based on the content of the sign is an infringement on the First Amendment right to free speech. Failure to comply could result in a loss of $53 million in federal funding. Signs will either be regulated or not regulated, depending upon whether they fit the definition of “advertising devices.” This definition captures all signs that exist in exchange for any type of compensation, monetary or otherwise (defined as “remuneration”).
[3/8: 48-0 (Excused: Hogg, Nunn)]

SF 551 -Firefighters responding to an emergency

SF 551 allows a driver with firefighter or emergency medical service plates to reasonably exceed the speed limit when responding to a fire alarm or emergency call. The driver must have received emergency vehicle operations training and make use of a blue light. It does not relieve the driver from the duty to drive with regard for the safety of others and does not protect them from reckless disregard for the safety of others. It requires the court to dismiss and expunge any citation issued when the driver complied with the bill and who presents to the court a signed statement from the applicable fire chief with details about the driver’s operation of the vehicle while responding.
[3/17: 47-0 (Excused: Goodwin, Hogg, Nunn)]

HF 280  – Renewal of CDL online 

HF 280 is a DOT bill allowing many commercial drivers to renew their Commercial Drivers License (CDL) online every other renewal period. During the pandemic, the federal government allowed CDL holders to renew online unless they hold a hazmat endorsement. This will provide greater flexibility and convenience, and reduce unnecessary in-person appointments by 28,000, freeing up appointment times for those seeking other DOT services.
[3/29: 45-0 (Excused: Driscoll, Hogg, Kraayenbrink, Nunn. Sweeney)]

HF 380 – Distracted driving instruction

HF 380 states that of the 30 hours student drivers must complete in an approved driver education course, at least four hours must include curricula on substance abuse and distracted driving, and provide awareness about sharing the road with bicycles and motorcycles.
[4/7: 44-0 (Excused: Brown, Carlin, Dawson, Hogg, Nunn, Schultz)]

HF 382 – Weight limits in national emergency

HF 382 – Iowa Code did not authorize the state DOT to issue one special permit to apply to multiple vehicles with overweight divisible loads on the interstate when those vehicles are all operating under the same motor carrier’s U.S. DOT number. This bill rectifies that problem.
[3/29: 45-0 (Excused: Driscoll, Hogg, Kraayenbrink, Nunn. Sweeney)]

HF 389 – Exemption from chauffeur’s license

HF 389 exempts all volunteer firefighters, volunteer ambulance drivers and rescue squad attendants from being considered chauffeurs.
[3/22: 48-0 (Excused: Kinney, Nunn)]

HF 493 – Low-speed electric bikes

HF 493 defines “low-speed electric bicycle” and establishes three different classes of low-speed electric bicycles and where those bicycles may operate.

The criteria for each class of low-speed electric bicycle is:

• Class 1: Low-speed electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases when the bicycle speed reaches 20 miles per hour or more.

• Class 2: Low-speed electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used to exclusively propel the bicycle and that is not operable when the bicycle speed reaches 20 miles per hour or more.

• Class 3: Low-speed electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases when the bicycle speed reaches 20 miles per hour or more.

The bill excludes low-speed electric bicycles from the definition of “vehicle,” thereby excluding them from license and permit requirements; requires that manufacturers or distributors of low-speed electric bicycles permanently affix a label to those manufactured or distributed after January 1, 2022, stating the class number of the bicycle, the top assisted speed and the motor wattage; limits the ability to modify a low-speed electric bicycle in a way that would disqualify it from the definition stated in the bill, and if modification would move a bicycle from one classification of low-speed electric bicycle to another, the bicycle must be labeled as the new classification; prohibits the bike from exceeding the posted or applicable speed limits, and if not posted, will not exceed 20 miles per hour; provides certain manufacturing requirements; and prohibits a person 16 or younger from operating a Class 3 low-speed electric bicycle. Scheduled violations are punishable by a fine of $25.
[4/12: 46-0 (Excused: Hogg, Lofgren, Nunn, Rozenboom)]

HF 495– Reporting dates on Road Use Tax Funds

HF 495 changes the reporting date for cities from September 30 to December 1 each year for monies received from the Road Use Tax Fund. It also changes from December 31 to March 1 reversion of all moneys to the street construction fund.
[3/22: 48-0 (Excused: Kinney, Nunn)]

HF 524 – Leaving scene of an accident

HF 524 applies the mandatory license revocation provision under Iowa Code section 321.209 to a driver who knows or has reason to believe that their vehicle was involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of a person. It provides that the driver must immediately stop their vehicle at the scene. If the driver leaves the scene and later discovers their vehicle was involved in such an accident, they must make a good-faith effort to immediately contact emergency services.

HF 524 expands the penalties applicable under Iowa Code section 321.261 to include:

  • Any person failing to stop or to comply with the requirements to stop under this section, who causes an accident resulting in a serious injury to any person, is guilty of a Class D felony.
  • A person failing to stop or to comply with the requirements of this section, who causes an accident resulting in the death of a person, is guilty of a Class C felony.
    [5/5: 48-0 (Excused: Hogg, Nunn)]

HF 654 – Lights on Authorized Emergency Vehicles

HF 654 authorizes the types of lights that can be equipped on emergency vehicles owned by the state or any political subdivision of the state. It authorizes emergency vehicles to be equipped with flashing headlamps, red and blue lights, flashing or solid white lights, split red and blue steady or flashing lights, and light bars containing one or more rear-zone amber lights or amber directional arrows. Also, an incident command vehicle may be equipped with one or more steady or flashing green lights. Towing or recovery vehicles, unless owned by the state or a municipality, are prohibited from having red and blue lights or a siren. Any emergency vehicle purchased on or after July 1, 2021, must be equipped with a master warning switch to activate all emergency lights on the vehicle.
[3/29: 45-0 (Excused: Driscoll, Hogg, Kraayenbrink, Nunn. Sweeney)]

HF 655 – Interference with transport of agricultural animal

HF 655 creates an aggravate misdemeanor offense for knowingly interfering with a motor vehicle transporting an agricultural animal or interfering with an agricultural animal confined in the motor vehicle. A second offense becomes a class “D” felony. Also, a defendant charged with the offense may assert an affirmative defense that the person was acting with the consent of either of the following: (1) a person actually or apparently transporting the agricultural animal or (2) a person actually or apparently exercising legal control of the agricultural animal.
[3/22: 48-0 (Excused: Kinney, Nunn)]