Legislation passed the House recently to allow for the use of mini trucks on certain roadways.
The use of mini trucks is growing - especially in rural areas - and this amendment to the Omnibus Transportation Policy Bill would allow them to be driven on county roads, but not on state highways or interstates. This is good news for people who like to use these trucks for hauling things around the farm or running errands.
Even though other states license and allow these vehicles to drive on state roads, the State Patrol and the Department of Motor Vehicles has strongly opposed licensing these vehicles and that has been frustrating to me. Several members of the Legislature attempted to make these legal on state highways as well, but the chair of the Transportation Committee, Bernie Lieder D-Crookston, sides with the patrol and department, so this was as much of a change as the Legislature would pass this year.
The amendment is a step in the right direction, but more work needs to be done to eliminate some complications. One of the biggest hang-ups is that drivers would need to obtain a permit from all counties in which they travel. That means drivers may need permits from several counties just to cover their day-to-day driving. For example, you would need three separate permits to legally drive the 20-some miles from Hoffman to Glenwood.
These kinks need to be worked out, but at least progress has been made. We will look to make improvements in the future, as they are a sensible option for some vehicle owners.
If you are not familiar with mini trucks, here’s a photo gallery: http://www.allterrainminitrucks.com/photo-gallery-japanese-mini-trucks.html.
Until next time,