Nebraska Governor Approves New Legislative Bill for Towers

Jun 22nd, 2011 | By | Category: National News

The State of Nebraska passed a new bill relating to the Nebraska rules of the road.

LB 35 was passed to “provide and change exceptions to vehicle limits for towing disabled or wrecked vehicles, to provide liability and operation requirements, to define terms, to change provisions relating to oversize vehicle permits and to repeal the original sections,” the bill states.

Towers in the state previously had to meet a certain axle weight and had no way to allow for added weight on the axle. They were also limited to 65 feet in length, and no permits were given to allow for increased length.

“The state didn’t treat towing as an exception to their rule and the state patrol was adamantly against the new bill’s changes, particularly the safekeeping language,” said Professional Towers Association of Nebraska President Jo Hitz. “Towers were allowed to remove a vehicle from the highway, but were required to disconnect at the first available exit and become legal, but if your recovery made you over 65 feet, it made it impossible to do so.”

Making things even more difficult was the fact that the tower couldn’t leave a recovered vehicle on the side of the road at an exit due to the liability issues it raised for the tower if something happened to the vehicle.

The Nebraska Association looked at neighboring states as examples in an effort to negotiate with the state. They found Missouri had an exemption policy and Colorado had an exemption policy, if towers purchased a permit.

However, the state would not negotiate, so the Professional Towers Association of Nebraska hired lobbyists to help implement change to the policy, and the Legislative Liaison and Transportation Committee came to their aid, Hitz said. The governor approved the bill April 26, 2011.

Now, the new bill has allowed towers to obtain exemption from length and axle weight, allowing them to take recovered vehicles to a repair shop or their storage lot.

The bill is set to become law on August 27, 2011.