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Searching 2018 Special Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 23: Motor Vehicles

Chapter 013: OPERATION OF VEHICLES

  • Subchapter 001: GENERAL PROVISIONS
  • § 1001. Regulations

    (a) The Commissioner may make regulations:

    (1) relating to motor vehicle equipment in all cases where its use is not defined in this title and whenever the use or nonuse, contrary to the regulation, in the judgment of the Commissioner, may render the operation of the motor vehicle hazardous or unlawful;

    (2) restricting or prohibiting the use of pictures, advertising matter, or other thing placed on or over any transparent part of a motor vehicle;

    (3) relating to any other matter or thing which, in his or her judgment, may hinder or impede the operator in the safe and careful operation of a motor vehicle;

    (4) in explanation of and in addition to, but not inconsistent with, the provisions of this title concerning any matter or thing which, in his or her judgment, may render the operation of motor vehicles safer and lessen motor vehicle accidents and resulting injuries or fatalities.

    (b) The Commissioner may make the safety regulations uniform with the regulations of the federal agency having jurisdiction over motor vehicles subject to federal law so far as the regulations are applicable to the vehicles or to vehicles of the same type not subject to federal law, or to both.

    (c) The Commissioner shall make regulations under this section only in accordance with 3 V.S.A. chapter 25. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1975, No. 211 (Adj. Sess.), § 10.)

  • § 1002. Repealed. 1981, No. 82, § 7(7).

  • § 1003. State speed zones

    (a) When the Traffic Committee constituted under 19 V.S.A. § 1(24) determines, on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that shall take into account, if applicable, safe speeds within school zones (or safe speeds within 200 feet of school district-operated prekindergarten program facilities owned or leased by a school district) when children are traveling to or from such schools or facilities, that a maximum speed limit established by this chapter is greater or less than is reasonable or safe under conditions found to exist at any place or upon any part of a State highway, including the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, it may determine and declare a reasonable and safe limit which is effective when appropriate signs stating the limit are erected. This limit may be declared to be effective at all times or at times indicated upon the signs; and differing limits may be established for different times of day, different types of vehicles, varying weather conditions, or based on other factors bearing on safe speeds, which are effective when posted upon appropriate fixed or alterable signs.

    (b) When establishing a maximum speed limit on a State highway contiguous to a school, the Traffic Committee shall consider, along with the engineering and traffic investigation, data collected for the purpose of promulgating a school travel plan under the Vermont Safe Routes to School Program. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 2003, No. 151 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2009, No. 50, § 100; 2009, No. 123 (Adj. Sess.), § 40, eff. May 26, 2010.)

  • § 1004. Interstate highway rules

    (a) The Traffic Committee has exclusive authority to make and publish, and from time to time may alter, amend, or repeal, rules pertaining to vehicular, pedestrian, and animal traffic, and the public safety on the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways and other limited access and controlled access highways within this State. The rules and any amendments or revisions may be made by the Committee only in accordance with 3 V.S.A. chapter 25. The rules shall be consistent with accepted motor vehicle codes or standards, shall be consistent with law, and shall not be unreasonable or discriminatory in respect to persons engaged in like, similar, or competitive activities. The rules are applicable only to the extent that they are not in conflict with regulations or orders issued by any agency of the United States having jurisdiction and shall be drawn with due consideration for the desirability of uniformity of law of the several states of the United States.

    (b) Rules authorized by this section are effective on interstate and other limited access and controlled access highways only, taking precedence over those then in force and future highway laws and rules applicable to highways generally; however, the general highway laws and rules are effective on interstate highways until properly authorized rules providing otherwise are adopted.

    (c) Rules, together with alterations and amendments of rules, made under this section have the force of law, and violations shall be traffic violations under section 2302 of this title. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1973, No. 16, § 2, eff. March 1, 1973; 2003, No. 109 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 2009, No. 123 (Adj. Sess.), § 41, eff. May 26, 2010.)

  • § 1005. Parking regulations

    The Traffic Committee may place signs prohibiting or restricting the stopping, standing, or parking of vehicles on any highway under its jurisdiction where, in its opinion, stopping, standing, or parking is dangerous to those using the highway or would unduly interfere with the free movement of traffic. The signs shall be official signs, and no person may stop, stand, or park any vehicle in violation of the restrictions stated on such signs. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1006. Stopping at railroad crossings

    The Traffic Committee may designate particularly dangerous railroad grade crossings, and the Agency of Transportation shall erect stop signs at each. The expense of erecting these stop signs shall be borne by the Agency of Transportation. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; 1983, No. 25, § 1; amended 1997, No. 150 (Adj. Sess.), § 14.)

  • § 1006a. Highways; emergency closure

    (a) The Traffic Committee may close any part or all of any State highway to public travel to protect the health, safety, or welfare of the public. In such event, the Agency may maintain a detour comprising State or town highways, or both, around the closed section. If the Agency maintains a detour on a town highway, it shall be responsible for repairing any damage to the town highway caused by the detoured traffic.

    (b) The Traffic Committee may establish a temporary speed limit within that portion of the State highways that is being reconstructed or maintained. The limit shall be effective when appropriate signs stating the limit are erected.

    (c) Under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, the Traffic Committee shall adopt such rules as are necessary to administer this section and may delegate this authority to the Agency of Transportation.

    (d) Notwithstanding the limit established in section 2302 of this title and the waiver penalties established under 4 V.S.A. § 1102(d), the penalty for violation of speed limits established under subsection (b) of this section shall be twice the penalty for non-worksite speed violations. (Added 1975, No. 4, eff. Feb. 14, 1975; amended 1991, No. 15, § 1; 1997, No. 150 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; 2013, No. 167 (Adj. Sess.), § 19; 2015, No. 23, § 123; 2015, No. 47, § 25.)

  • § 1006b. Smugglers' Notch; winter closure of Vermont Route 108; commercial vehicle operation prohibited

    (a) The Agency of Transportation may close the Smugglers' Notch segment of Vermont Route 108 during periods of winter weather.

    (b)(1) As used in this subsection, "commercial vehicle" means truck-tractor-semitrailer combinations and truck-tractor-trailer combinations.

    (2) Commercial vehicles are prohibited from operating on the Smugglers' Notch segment of Vermont Route 108.

    (3) Either the operator of a commercial vehicle who violates this subsection, or the operator's employer, shall be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000.00. If the violation results in substantially impeding the flow of traffic on Vermont Route 108, the penalty shall be $2,000.00. For a second or subsequent conviction within a three-year period, the penalty shall be doubled.

    (c) The Agency shall erect signs conforming to the standards established by section 1025 of this title to indicate the closures and restrictions authorized under this section. (Added 2007, No. 75, § 37; amended 2007, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 52; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 68.)

  • § 1006c. Chain requirements for vehicles with weight ratings of more than 26,000 pounds

    (a) As used in this section, "chains" means link chains, cable chains, or another device that attaches to a vehicle's tire or wheel or to the vehicle itself and is designed to augment the traction of the vehicle under conditions of snow or ice.

    (b) The Secretary of Transportation, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, or the Commissioner of Public Safety, or their designees, may require the use of tire chains on specified portions of State highways during periods of winter weather for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds or gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of more than 26,000 pounds.

    (c) When tire chains are required, advance notice shall be given to the traveling public through signage and, whenever possible, through public service announcements. In areas where tire chains are required, there shall be an adequate area for vehicles to pull off the traveled way to affix any chains that might be required.

    (d) Under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, the Traffic Committee may adopt such rules as are necessary to administer this section and may delegate this authority to the Secretary.

    (e) When signs are posted and chains required in accordance with this section, chains shall be affixed as follows on vehicles with a GVWR or a GCWR of more than 26,000 pounds:

    (1) Solo vehicles. A vehicle not towing another vehicle:

    (A) that has a single-drive axle shall have chains on one tire on each side of the drive axle; or

    (B) that has a tandem-drive axle shall have chains on:

    (i) two tires on each side of the primary drive axle; or

    (ii) if both axles are powered by the drive line, on one tire on each side of each drive axle.

    (2) Vehicles with semitrailers or trailers. A vehicle towing one or more semitrailers or trailers:

    (A) that has a single-drive axle towing a trailer shall have chains on two tires on each side of the drive axle and one tire on the front axle and one tire on one of the rear axles of the trailer;

    (B) that has a single-drive axle towing a semitrailer shall have chains on two tires on each side of the drive axle and two tires, one on each side, of any axle of the semitrailer;

    (C) that has a tandem-drive axle towing a trailer shall have:

    (i) chains on two tires on each side of the primary drive axle, or if both axles of the vehicle are powered by the drive line, one tire on each side of each drive axle; and

    (ii) chains on one tire of the front axle and one tire on one of the rear axles of the trailer;

    (D) that has a tandem-drive axle towing a semitrailer shall have:

    (i) chains on two tires on each side of the primary drive axle, or if both axles of the vehicle are powered by the drive line, one tire on each side of each drive axle; and

    (ii) chains on two tires, one on each side, of any axle of the semitrailer.

    (f) Either the operator of a vehicle required to be chained under this section who fails to affix chains as required herein, or the operator's employer, shall be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000.00. If the violation results in substantially impeding the flow of traffic on a highway, the penalty shall be $2,000.00. For a second or subsequent conviction within a three-year period, the penalty shall be doubled. (Added 2009, No. 50, § 71; amended 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 69.)

  • § 1007. Local speed limits

    (a)(1) The legislative body of a municipality may establish, on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation, a speed limit on all or a part of any city, town, or village highway within its jurisdiction, which:

    (A) is not more than 50 miles per hour; however, after considering neighborhood character, abutting land use, bicycle and pedestrian use, and physical characteristics of the highways, the legislative body of a municipality may vote to set the maximum speed limit, without an engineering and traffic investigation, at not more than 50 miles per hour nor less than 35 miles per hour, on all or a portion of unpaved town highways within its boundaries, unless otherwise posted in accordance with the provisions of this section; or

    (B) is not less than 25 miles per hour.

    (2) If the legislative body of a municipality votes to set the speed limit on all unpaved town highways in its boundaries at no more than 50 miles per hour nor less than 35 miles per hour as provided for in subdivision (a)(1) of this section, signs shall be located at points of change from one speed limit to another.

    (b) The legislative body of a city may establish, on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation, a speed limit on all or a part of any State highway, other than a limited access highway, within its jurisdiction, which:

    (1) is not more than 50 miles per hour; or

    (2) is not less than 25 miles per hour.

    (c) Any altered limit is effective at all times or during hours of darkness or at other times as may be determined when appropriate signs giving notice are erected upon the street or highway.

    (d) The special regulations have the full force and effect of law and are in the case of regulations adopted under subsections (a) and (b) of this section subject to review by the Traffic Committee, whose decision is final.

    (e) Lack of evidence of a traffic and engineering study will not invalidate a local speed limit ordinance as adopted or amended under this section after five years following the day on which the speed limit ordinance took effect.

    (f) Notwithstanding the procedure outlined in this section for enacting a local speed limit, a town or village may adopt a local speed ordinance on a State highway, other than on limited access highways, provided the ordinance duplicates the speed limit established under section 1003 of this title.

    (g) Notwithstanding any requirements of section 1025 of this title, downtown development districts designated under 24 V.S.A. chapter 76A may have posted speed limits of less than 25 miles per hour. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1973, No. 239 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1975, No. 232 (Adj. Sess.), § 9, eff. April 7, 1976; 1989, No. 261 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. June 16, 1990; 1995, No. 133 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1997, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 1999, No. 32, § 1.)

  • § 1007a. Neighborhood electric vehicles; speed limit

    The maximum speed for a neighborhood electric vehicle shall be 25 miles per hour. (Added 2003, No. 8, § 2.)

  • § 1008. Regulations in municipalities

    (a) The legislative body of a municipality may make special regulations as to the operation, use, and parking of motor vehicles, including angle parking, as to the location, design, and structure of traffic lights, as to "stop" signs and "yield right of way" signs at intersections, as to "no-passing" zones, and as to streets designated for one-way traffic in the thickly settled portions of the municipality and may cause any street or highway of adequate width to be divided by appropriate markings into three or more lanes, and may, by ordinance or regulation, regulate the direction of travel and the turning of vehicles proceeding in those lanes and the passing of vehicles in one lane by overtaking vehicles in another lane, may cause markers, buttons, or signs to be placed within or adjacent to intersections and thereby direct the course traveled by vehicles turning at an intersection, and when markers, buttons, or signs are so placed no driver may turn a vehicle at an intersection other than as directed by the markers, buttons, or signs. However, signs indicating the special regulations must be conspicuously posted in and near all areas affected. Special regulations may not be established on any State highway as defined by 19 V.S.A. § 1(20). Regulations on all State highways may be made only by the Traffic Committee under section 1003 of this title, except that the Traffic Committee may authorize the legislative body of a municipality to regulate parking within a thickly settled area of a municipality, particularly described in the authorization, on State highways. The board of school directors of a union high school district may make special regulations as to the operation, use, and parking of motor vehicles within the boundaries of its school property.

    (b) The legislative body of a municipality may make special regulations as to the use of lights at night on motor vehicles at rest or in motion on well lighted streets.

    (c) Municipal motor vehicle regulations shall not duplicate or contradict any provision of this title. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. March 1, 1973; 2017, No. 74, § 61.)

  • § 1008a. Regulation of motor vehicles at State airports

    The Secretary may adopt rules governing the operation, use, and parking of motor vehicles on the grounds of State airports, including the access roads. Signs indicating the special regulations shall be conspicuously posted in and near all areas affected. (Added 1993, No. 61, § 26, eff. June 3, 1993.)

  • § 1009. Restrictions of controlled-access roadway

    (a) The Traffic Committee by resolution or order entered in its minutes may regulate or prohibit the use of any controlled-access highway by any class or kind of traffic which is found to be incompatible with the normal and safe movement of traffic.

    (b) The Traffic Committee adopting any such prohibition shall erect and maintain official traffic-control devices on the controlled-access highway on which such prohibitions are applicable and when these are in place, no person shall disobey the restrictions stated on such devices.

    (c) The Traffic Committee may authorize the stopping of a school bus on a controlled-access highway to pick up or discharge passengers, except the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, if after a traffic and engineering study they determine that there is no viable alternative and that adequate safety, both for the passengers, school bus, and other highway users, can be maintained. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1981, No. 9.)

  • § 1010. Special occasions; town highway maintenance

    (a) When it appears that traffic will be congested by reason of a public occasion or when a town highway is being reconstructed or maintained or where utilities are being installed, relocated, or maintained, the legislative body of a municipality may make special regulations as to the speed of motor vehicles, may exclude motor vehicles from town highways, and may make such traffic rules and regulations as the public good requires. However, signs indicating the special regulations must be conspicuously posted in and near all affected areas, giving as much notice as possible to the public so that alternative routes of travel could be considered.

    (b) Notwithstanding the limit established in section 2302 of this title and the waiver penalties established under 4 V.S.A. § 1102(d), the penalty for violation of speed limits established under the worksite provision of this section shall be twice the penalty for non-worksite speed violations. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1991, No. 15, § 2; 1997, No. 150 (Adj. Sess.), § 16; 2009, No. 123 (Adj. Sess.), § 42; 2015, No. 47, § 26.)

  • § 1011. Applicability of this chapter

    (a) The provisions of this chapter relating to the operation of motor vehicles apply to operation upon public highways only, except where a different place is specifically referred to.

    (b) On duty enforcement officers are exempt from the speed limits established in accordance with sections 1003 and 1007 of this title, and fixed by section 1081 of this title. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1012. Obedience to enforcement officers

    (a) A person, while operating or in charge of a motor vehicle shall, upon request by an enforcement officer who reasonably suspects that the person has committed or is committing a violation of this title, give his or her name and address and the name and address of the owner of the motor vehicle.

    (b) The operator shall produce his or her operator's license and the registration certificate for the motor vehicle. If the operator does not have a valid Vermont operator's license or does not have the license on his or her person, the operator shall produce other suitable forms of identification. A person operating a motor vehicle shall promptly and carefully stop when signalled to stop by an enforcement officer wearing insignia which identifies the officer.

    (c) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $1,250.00.

    (d) A person who violates subsection (b) of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $250.00. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1989, No. 109, § 6, eff. July 1, 1990; 1999, No. 58, § 7.)

  • § 1013. Authority of enforcement officers

    Enforcement officers may make arrests for violation of this title, may direct, control, and regulate traffic, and make reasonable orders in enforcement of this title or to prevent or alleviate traffic congestion, property damage, or personal injury. No person may knowingly fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any enforcement officer. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1014. Persons riding animals

    A person riding an animal or driving any animal-drawn vehicle upon a road is granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a motor vehicle by this chapter except those provisions of this chapter which by their very nature can have no application. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1015. Authorized emergency vehicles

    (a) The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle, when responding to an emergency call or when responding to, but not returning from, a fire alarm and a law enforcement officer operating an authorized emergency vehicle in fresh pursuit of a suspected violator of the law:

    (1) may park or stand contrary to the provisions of this chapter;

    (2) may proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only after slowing down as may be necessary for safe operation;

    (3) shall come to a full stop when approaching a school bus which is flashing red lights and may proceed only when the flashing red lights are extinguished;

    (4) may exceed the maximum speed limits;

    (5) may disregard regulations governing direction of movement or turning in specified directions.

    (b) The exemptions granted to an authorized emergency vehicle apply only when the vehicle is making use of audible or visual signals meeting the requirements of this title.

    (c) The foregoing provisions shall not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons, nor shall such provisions protect the driver from the consequences of his or her reckless disregard for the safety of others.

    (d) The operator of a school bus, upon the approach of an authorized emergency vehicle as described in subsection (a) of this section, shall take action immediately to get school-children out of the public highway and to a safe place and shall thereafter extinguish the flashing red lights. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1981, No. 97, §§ 1, 2.)

  • § 1016. Reports of arrests

    Law enforcement officers who make arrests or issue citations for violations of this title shall forward a written report on forms prescribed and furnished by the Commissioners of Motor Vehicles and of Public Safety and approved by the Attorney General with respect to any matter affecting the substantive rights of any person, to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 30 days after the arrest is made or the citation is issued. (Added 1975, No. 72, eff. April 18, 1975; amended 1981, No. 81, § 2, eff. May 5, 1981; 2009, No. 39, § 2.)


  • Subchapter 002: TRAFFIC SIGNS, SIGNALS, AND MARKINGS
  • § 1021. Obedience to traffic-control devices

    (a) The driver of any vehicle shall obey the instructions of any official traffic-control device applicable to him or her placed in accordance with this chapter unless otherwise directed by an enforcement officer, subject to the exceptions granted in this chapter.

    (b) No provision of this chapter for which signs are required may be enforced if at the time and place of the alleged violation an official sign is not in approximately proper position and sufficiently legible to be seen by an ordinarily observant person. Whenever a particular section does not state that signs are required, the section is effective even though no signs are erected or in place.

    (c) Whenever official traffic-control devices are placed in positions approximately conforming to this chapter the devices are presumed to have been placed by the official act or direction of lawful authority, unless the contrary is established by competent evidence.

    (d) An official traffic-control device placed pursuant to this chapter and purporting to conform to the lawful requirements pertaining to the device is presumed to comply with this chapter, unless the contrary is established by competent evidence. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1022. Traffic-control signals

    (a) Whenever traffic is controlled by traffic-control signals exhibiting different colored lights, or colored lighted arrows, successively one at a time or in combination, only the colors green, red, and yellow may be used, except for special pedestrian signals carrying a word legend, and the signals shall indicate and apply to drivers and pedestrians as follows:

    (1) Green signal:

    (A) Vehicular traffic facing a circular green signal may proceed straight through or turn right or left unless a sign prohibits either turn. Vehicular traffic, including vehicles turning right or left, shall yield the right of way to other vehicles or to pedestrians lawfully within the intersection or on an adjacent crosswalk at the time the signal is exhibited.

    (B) Vehicular traffic facing a green arrow signal, shown alone or in combination with another signal, may cautiously enter the intersection only to make the movement indicated by the arrow, or such other movement as is permitted by other signals shown at the same time. Vehicular traffic shall yield the right of way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk or to other traffic lawfully using the intersection.

    (C) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal, as provided in section 1023 of this title, pedestrians facing a green signal may proceed across the roadway within any marked or unmarked crosswalk, but not when the sole green signal is a turn arrow.

    (2) Steady yellow signal:

    (A) Vehicular traffic facing a steady yellow signal is thereby warned that the related green signal is being terminated or that a red signal will be exhibited immediately thereafter, when vehicular traffic shall not enter the intersection.

    (B) Pedestrians facing a steady yellow signal, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal as provided in section 1023 of this title, are advised that there is insufficient time to cross the roadway before a red signal is shown, and no pedestrian shall then start to cross the roadway.

    (3) Steady red signal:

    (A) Vehicular traffic facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection.

    (B) Except when a sign is in place prohibiting a turn, vehicular traffic facing any steady red signal may cautiously enter the intersection to turn right, or to turn left from a one way street into a one way street, after stopping as required by subdivision (A) of this subdivision (3). This traffic shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other traffic lawfully using the intersection. No motorist shall turn right when facing a red arrow signal indication unless a regulatory sign is present which permits this movement.

    (C) Unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian-control signal as provided in section 1023 of this title, pedestrians facing a steady red signal alone shall not enter the roadway.

    (b) If an official traffic-control signal is erected and maintained at a place other than an intersection, this section is applicable except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application. Any stop required shall be made at a sign or marking on the pavement indicating where the stop is to be made, but in the absence of any sign or marking the stop shall be made at the signal. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1975, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), eff. Feb. 25, 1976; 1977, No. 8; 2007, No. 75, § 28.)

  • § 1023. Pedestrian-control signals

    Whenever special pedestrian-control signals exhibiting the words "Walk" or "Don't Walk" are in place the signals indicate as follows:

    (1) "Walk": pedestrians facing the signal may proceed across the roadway in the direction of the signal and shall be given the right of way by all drivers.

    (2) "Don't Walk": no pedestrian shall start to cross the roadway in the direction of the signal, but any pedestrian who has begun his or her crossing on the "Walk" signal shall proceed to a sidewalk or a safety island while the "Don't Walk" signal is showing. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1024. Flashing signals

    (a) Whenever a flashing red or yellow signal is used in a traffic sign or signal it requires obedience by vehicular traffic as follows:

    (1) Flashing red: When a red lens is illuminated with rapid intermittent flashes, drivers shall stop before entering the nearest crosswalk at an intersection or at a limit line when marked, or, if there are none, before entering the intersection, and the right to proceed is subject to the rules applicable after making a stop at a stop sign.

    (2) Flashing yellow: When a yellow lens is illuminated with rapid intermittent flashes, drivers of vehicles may proceed through the intersection or past the signal only with caution.

    (b) This section does not apply to railroad grade crossings. Conduct of drivers approaching railroad grade crossings is governed by sections 1071, 1072, and 1073 of this title.

    (c) This section does not apply to operators of vehicles encountering school buses. Conduct of drivers encountering school buses is governed by section 1075 of this title. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1025. Standards

    (a) The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) for streets and highways as amended shall be the standards for all traffic control signs, signals, and markings within the State. The latest revision of the MUTCD shall be adopted upon its effective date except in the case of projects beyond a preliminary state of design that are anticipated to be constructed within two years of the otherwise applicable effective date; such projects may be constructed according to the MUTCD standards applicable at the design stage. Existing signs, signals, and markings shall be valid until such time as they are replaced or reconstructed. When new traffic control devices are erected or placed or existing traffic control devices are replaced or repaired the equipment, design, method of installation, placement, or repair shall conform with the MUTCD.

    (b) The standards of the MUTCD shall apply for both State and local authorities as to traffic control devices under their respective jurisdiction.

    (c) Traffic and control signals at intersections with exclusive pedestrian walk cycles shall be of sufficient duration to allow a pedestrian to leave the curb and travel across the roadway before opposing vehicles receive a green light. Determination of the length of the signal shall take into account the circumstances of persons with ambulatory disabilities. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1975, No. 26; 1985, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2009, No. 123 (Adj. Sess.), § 33; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 145.)

  • § 1026. Lane control signals

    When lane direction control signals are placed over the individual lanes of a street or highway, vehicular traffic shall travel in any lane over which there is a green signal, but may not enter or travel in any lane over which there is a red signal. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1027. Unauthorized signs, signals, or markings

    (a) No person shall place, maintain, or display upon or in view of any highway any unauthorized sign, signal, marking, or device which is an imitation of or resembles an official traffic-control device or railroad sign or signal, or which attempts to direct the movement of traffic, or which obscures or interferes with the effectiveness of an official traffic-control device or any railroad sign or signal.

    (b) No person shall place or maintain upon any highway, nor may any public authority permit upon any highway, any traffic sign or signal bearing thereon any commercial advertising, except as otherwise provided in 10 V.S.A. chapter 21.

    (c) This section shall not be deemed to prohibit the erection upon private property adjacent to highways of signs giving useful directional information and of a type that cannot be mistaken for official signs, nor shall this provision affect any right or obligation created or recognized under 10 V.S.A. chapter 21.

    (d) Every prohibited sign, signal, or marking is a public nuisance, and the Agency of Transportation may remove it or cause it to be removed without notice. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1028. Interference with devices or signals

    No person shall, without lawful authority, alter or attempt to alter, deface, injure, knock down, or remove any official traffic-control device or any railroad sign or signal or any inscription, shield, or insignia thereon, or any part thereof. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1029. Municipal signs

    Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 1025 and 1027 of this title, municipalities may erect alternative signs of a guidance or informational nature and creative design, in accordance with the provisions of 10 V.S.A. § 494(15), to assist persons in reaching destinations that are transportation centers, geographic districts, historic monuments, and significant or unique educational, recreational, or cultural landmarks. (Added 1991, No. 197 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2015, No. 47, § 27.)


  • Subchapter 003: USE OF ROADWAY
  • § 1031. Driving to right

    (a) Upon all roadways of sufficient width a vehicle shall be driven upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:

    (1) when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing such movement;

    (2) when an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the highway; provided, any person so doing shall yield the right of way to all vehicles traveling in the proper direction upon the unobstructed portion of the highway within such distance as to constitute an immediate hazard;

    (3) upon a roadway divided into three marked lanes for traffic under the rules applicable thereon; or

    (4) upon a roadway restricted to one-way traffic.

    (b) Upon all roadways any vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

    (c) Upon any roadway having four or more lanes for moving traffic and providing for two-way movement of traffic, no vehicle shall be driven to the left of the center line of the roadway, except when authorized by official traffic-control devices designating certain lanes to the left side of the center of the roadway for use by traffic not otherwise permitted to use such lanes, or except as permitted under subdivision (a)(2) of this section. However, this subsection shall not be construed as prohibiting the crossing of the center line in making a left turn into or from an intersecting highway, an alley, private road, or driveway when authorized. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1032. Passing vehicles proceeding in opposite directions

    Drivers of vehicles proceeding in opposite directions shall pass each other to the right, and upon roadways having width for not more than one line of traffic in each direction, each driver shall give to the other at least one-half of the main-traveled portion of the roadway as nearly as possible. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1033. Passing motor vehicles and vulnerable users

    (a) Passing motor vehicles. Motor vehicles proceeding in the same direction may be overtaken and passed only as follows:

    (1) The driver of a motor vehicle overtaking another motor vehicle proceeding in the same direction may pass to its left at a safe distance, and when so doing shall exercise due care, shall not pass to the left of the center of the highway except as authorized in section 1035 of this title, and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.

    (2) Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken motor vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking motor vehicle and shall not increase the speed of his or her vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

    (b) Passing vulnerable users. The operator of a motor vehicle approaching or passing a vulnerable user as defined in subdivision 4(81) of this title shall exercise due care, which includes increasing clearance to a recommended distance of at least four feet, to pass the vulnerable user safely, and shall cross the center of the highway only as provided in section 1035 of this title. A person who violates this subsection shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $200.00. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 2009, No. 114 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 39.)

  • § 1034. Passing on the right

    (a) The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle only as follows:

    (1) when the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn;

    (2) upon a street or highway of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles in one or more directions and with unobstructed pavement not occupied by parked vehicles; or

    (3) upon a one-way street, or upon any roadway on which traffic is restricted to one direction of movement, where the roadway is free from obstructions and of sufficient width for two or more lines of moving vehicles.

    (b) In no event may a vehicle be passed by driving off the pavement or main-traveled portion of the roadway. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1035. Limitations

    (a) A vehicle shall not be driven to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle or a vulnerable user proceeding in the same direction unless authorized by the provisions of this chapter and unless the left side is clearly visible and free of oncoming traffic and vulnerable users for a sufficient distance ahead to permit overtaking and passing to be completed without interfering with the operation of any vehicle or with any vulnerable user approaching from the opposite direction, or with the operation of any vehicle or with any vulnerable user overtaken. In every event, the overtaking vehicle shall return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and, if the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within 200 feet of any approaching vehicle or a vulnerable user.

    (b) A vehicle shall not pass another from the rear under any of the following conditions:

    (1) when approaching or upon the crest of a grade or upon a curve in the highway where the driver's view is in any way obstructed;

    (2) when approaching within 100 feet of, or traversing, any intersection or railroad grade crossing unless otherwise indicated by official traffic control devices; or

    (3) when the view is obstructed upon approaching within 100 feet of any bridge, viaduct, or tunnel.

    (c) The foregoing limitations do not apply upon a one-way roadway, or when subdivision 1031(a)(2) of this title applies, or where a vehicle is turning left into an alley, private road, or driveway. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1995, No. 73 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 40.)

  • § 1036. No-passing zones

    (a) The Traffic Committee is authorized to determine those portions of any highway under its jurisdiction where overtaking and passing or driving on the left side of the roadway would be especially hazardous and may, by appropriate signs indicate the beginning and end of the zones, and when the signs are in place and clearly visible to an ordinarily observant person, every driver of a vehicle shall obey the directions.

    (b) Where signs are in place to define a no-passing zone as set forth in subsection (a) of this section, no driver shall at any time drive to the left of the center of the roadway within the no-passing zone.

    (c) Restrictions imposed under this section do not apply when subdivision 1031(a)(2) of this title applies, or where a vehicle is turning left into an alley, private road, or driveway. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1037. One-way roadways and rotaries

    (a) The Traffic Committee may designate any highway or any separate roadway under its jurisdiction for one-way traffic and shall erect appropriate signs giving notice thereof.

    (b) Upon a roadway designated and signposted for one-way traffic, a vehicle shall be driven only in the direction designated.

    (c) A vehicle passing around a rotary traffic island shall be driven only to the right of the island. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1038. Driving on roadways laned for traffic

    Whenever any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, the following rules shall apply in addition to all others consistent therewith:

    (1) A vehicle shall only be driven, as nearly as practicable, entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from that lane until the driver has first ascertained that the movement can be made with safety.

    (2) Upon a roadway which is divided into three lanes and provides for two-way movement of traffic, a vehicle may be driven in the center lane only when overtaking and passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction when the center lane is clear of traffic within a safe distance, or in preparation for making a left turn, or where the center lane is at the time allocated exclusively to traffic moving in the same direction that the vehicle is proceeding and the allocation is designated by official traffic-control devices.

    (3) Official traffic-control devices may be erected directing specified traffic to use a designated lane or designating those lanes to be used by traffic moving in a particular direction regardless of the center of the roadway, and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of the signs.

    (4) Official traffic-control devices may be installed prohibiting the changing of lanes on sections of roadway, and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of these devices. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1039. Following too closely, crowding, and harassment

    (a) The driver of a vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of the vehicles and the traffic upon, and the conditions of, the highway. The operator of a vehicle shall not, in a careless or imprudent manner, approach, pass, or maintain speed unnecessarily close to a vulnerable user as defined in subdivision 4(81) of this title, and an occupant of a vehicle shall not throw any object or substance at a vulnerable user.

    (b) The driver of any vehicle, when traveling upon a roadway outside a business or residential district and which is following another vehicle shall, whenever conditions permit, leave sufficient space so that an overtaking vehicle may enter and occupy the space without danger, except that this shall not prevent a vehicle from overtaking and passing any other vehicle.

    (c) Vehicles being driven upon any roadway in a caravan or motorcade, other than a funeral procession, shall be so operated as to allow sufficient space between each vehicle or combination of vehicles so as to enable any other vehicle to enter and occupy the space without danger. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 2009, No. 114 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)

  • § 1040. Driving on divided highways

    Whenever any highway is divided into two or more roadways by leaving an intervening space or by a physical barrier or clearly indicated dividing section so constructed as to impede vehicular traffic, every vehicle may be driven only upon the right-hand roadway unless directed or permitted to use another roadway by official traffic-control devices or police officers. No vehicle shall be driven over, across, or within any dividing space, barrier, or section. A vehicle may be driven through an opening in a physical barrier or dividing section or space or at a crossover or intersection as established, unless specifically prohibited by public authority. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1041. Restricted access roadways

    No person may drive a vehicle onto or from any controlled-access roadway except at entrances and exits established by public authority. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1042. Restricting the use of town highways

    (a) The legislative body of a municipality may, with the approval of the Secretary of Transportation, designate highways and bridges under their control, except for class 1 town highways, for use by specified types of motor vehicles based on volume and type of traffic and character of the neighborhood. However, when the legislative body of a municipality requests in writing, the Secretary of Transportation may set the weight limit on a class 1 town highway at less than the State highway limit under section 1392 of this title, if a reasonable alternative route is available for those vehicles traveling at the State highway limit. When a highway or bridge has been so restricted, signs shall be placed in accordance with the provisions of section 1397 of this title.

    (b) In making the determination as to whether a reasonable alternative route is available, the Secretary of Transportation shall, at a minimum, consider the following factors:

    (1) whether the alternative routing will reduce or relieve traffic congestion in a downtown area;

    (2) whether the alternative routing will enhance safety;

    (3) the length of the alternative route, and any increase in time made necessary by use of the alternative route;

    (4) whether an adverse effect has been created relative to the quiet enjoyment and property values of people living along the alternative route.

    (c) Any decision of the Secretary made under this section may be appealed, in writing, to the Transportation Board within 30 days of the Secretary's decision. The Transportation Board shall decide the question within 45 days of receipt of the appeal, and may take evidence or testimony.

    (d) [Repealed.]  (Added 1989, No. 121, § 20b, eff. June 22, 1989; amended 1995, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1999, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 16; 2007, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 63.)

  • § 1043. Operation of neighborhood electric vehicles

    (a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, the operator of a neighborhood electric vehicle may not operate the vehicle on a highway with a speed limit in excess of 35 miles per hour.

    (b) The Traffic Committee for State highways or the legislative body of a municipality for town highways may prohibit the use of neighborhood electric vehicles on highways under their jurisdiction when deemed to be in the interest of public safety.

    (c)(1) The operator of a neighborhood electric vehicle may cross a highway which has a speed limit of 50 miles per hour or less if the crossing begins and ends on a highway authorized for use by these vehicles, and there is an intersection that is controlled by traffic control signals.

    (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, the Traffic Committee or the legislative body of a municipality may prohibit the operator of a neighborhood electric vehicle from traversing an intersection under their respective jurisdictions when the prohibition is deemed to be in the best interest of public safety. A prohibition shall become effective when appropriate signs giving notice are erected at the crossing.

    (d) [Repealed.]  (Added 2003, No. 8, § 3; amended 2013, No. 89, § 23.)


  • Subchapter 004: RIGHT OF WAY
  • § 1046. Vehicle approaching or entering intersection

    (a) When two vehicles approach or enter an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to the vehicle on the right.

    (b) The right-of-way rule declared in subsection (a) of this section is modified at through highways and otherwise as stated in this chapter.

    (c) The above rules are modified as follows:

    (1) whenever enforcement officers are present they have the full power to regulate traffic;

    (2) as otherwise provided in this chapter;

    (3) all intersecting highways shall be approached and entered slowly, with due care to avoid accidents. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1047. Vehicle turning left

    (a) The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is either within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.

    (b) A person operating a vehicle shall not turn left unless the turn can be made at a safe distance from a vulnerable user. A person who violates this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $200.00. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 42.)

  • § 1048. Stop or yield intersections

    (a) Preferential right of way at an intersection may be indicated by "stop" signs or "yield" signs.

    (b) Except when directed to proceed by an enforcement officer or traffic-control signal, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection. After having stopped, the driver shall yield the right of way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from another highway or which is approaching so closely on said highway as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when such driver is moving across or within the intersection.

    (c) The driver of a vehicle approaching a yield sign shall in obedience to the yield sign slow down to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and, if required for safety to stop, shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, then at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway. After slowing or stopping, the driver shall yield the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another highway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time the driver is moving across or within the intersection. However, if the driver is involved in a collision with a vehicle in the intersection, after driving past a yield sign without stopping, the collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of the driver's failure to yield right of way. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1995, No. 73 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)

  • § 1049. Vehicle entering from private road

    The driver of a vehicle about to enter or cross a highway from an alley, building, private road, or driveway shall yield the right of way to all vehicles and vulnerable users approaching on the highway. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 41.)

  • § 1050. Operation on approach of law enforcement and emergency vehicles

    (a) Upon the approach of a law enforcement vehicle which is sounding a siren or displaying a blue or blue and white signal lamp, or both, or upon the approach of an ambulance, fire apparatus, a vehicle operated by a volunteer firefighter, EMS personnel, or a motor vehicle used in rescue operations as set forth in section 1252 of this title which is sounding a siren or displaying a red signal lamp, or both, all other vehicles shall pull to the right of the lane of traffic and come to a complete stop, until the law enforcement or emergency vehicle has passed. However, an enforcement officer who is present shall have full power to regulate traffic irrespective of the foregoing provisions.

    (b) The operator of a vehicle which is approaching a stationary law enforcement vehicle which is displaying a blue or blue and white signal lamp, or of a vehicle which is approaching a stationary ambulance, fire apparatus, a vehicle operated by a volunteer firefighter, or a motor vehicle used in rescue operations as set forth in section 1252 of this title which is displaying a red signal lamp, or a stationary towing and repair vehicle displaying an amber signal lamp, shall proceed with caution, and, if traveling on a four-lane highway, and safety conditions permit, make a lane change.

    (c) This section does not relieve the operator of an authorized law enforcement or emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 2001, No. 84 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2005, No. 175 (Adj. Sess.), § 54.)

  • § 1050a. Authorized highway maintenance vehicles

    (a) As used in this section, "authorized vehicle" means a vehicle authorized by the Agency of Transportation (in the case of State highways) or the municipality (in the case of town highways) to perform maintenance on a highway.

    (b) The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way to any authorized vehicle obviously and actually engaged in work upon a highway when the vehicle displays flashing lights meeting the requirements of subsection 1252(b) of this title. (Added 2007, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 37.)


  • Subchapter 005: PEDESTRIANS' RIGHTS AND DUTIES
  • § 1051. Pedestrians' right of way in crosswalks

    (a) If traffic-control signals are not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if necessary, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk.

    (b) No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for a driver to yield.

    (c) If any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear may not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1985, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 6.)

  • § 1052. Crossing except at crosswalks

    (a) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

    (b) Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

    (c) Between adjacent intersections at which traffic-control signals are in operation pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.

    (d) No pedestrian may cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic control devices or an enforcement officer. When authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians may cross only in accordance with the official traffic control devices or signal of an enforcement officer. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 2003, No. 151 (Adj. Sess.), § 6.)

  • § 1053. Repealed. 2009, No. 114 (Adj. Sess.), § 8.

  • § 1054. Pedestrians to use right half of crosswalks

    Pedestrians may move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of crosswalks only. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1055. Pedestrians on roadways

    (a) Where public sidewalks are provided no person may walk along or upon an adjacent roadway.

    (b) Where public sidewalks are not provided any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the left side of the roadway or its shoulder facing the direction of possible oncoming traffic. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1056. Highway solicitations

    (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, no person may stand within the roadway of a highway as defined in subdivision 4(32) of this title for the purpose of soliciting a ride, contributions, employment, or business from the occupant of any vehicle.

    (b) Not-for-profit and municipal organizations may solicit contributions on the roadway of a highway, other than limited access highways, provided that approval is granted by the local legislative body, and the legislative body ensures that there is in effect a policy of liability insurance providing adequate coverage for the municipality. Approval shall not be granted by the local legislative body if the proposed activities or location would, in the judgment of the legislative body, create a safety hazard or cause undue traffic congestion. No solicitations on the roadway may be done by any person under 16 years of age.

    (c) No person may stand within the portion of the highway right of way used for highway purposes for the purpose of soliciting the watching or guarding of any vehicle while parked or about to be parked on a street or highway. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1973, No. 20, eff. March 7, 1973; 1989, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.).)

  • § 1057. Duty toward persons who are blind

    (a) Whenever a pedestrian is crossing or attempting to cross a public street or highway, guided by a guide dog or carrying in a raised or extended position a cane or walking stick, white in color or white tipped with red, the driver of every vehicle approaching the intersection, or place where the pedestrian is attempting to cross, shall bring his or her vehicle to a full stop before arriving at the intersection or place of crossing and before proceeding shall take such precautions as may be necessary to avoid injuring the pedestrian.

    (b) It is unlawful for any person, unless totally or partially blind or otherwise having a severe visual disability, while on any public street or highway, to carry in a raised or extended position a cane or walking stick which is white in color or white tipped with red.

    (c) Nothing in this section deprives any person who is totally or partially blind or otherwise has a severe visual disability, not carrying a cane or walking stick and not being guided by a dog, of the rights and privileges conferred by law upon pedestrians crossing streets or highways, and the failure of any person who is totally or partially blind or otherwise has a severe visual disability to carry a cane or walking stick, or to be guided by a guide dog upon streets, highways, or sidewalks within this State, does not constitute and is not evidence of contributory negligence. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 146.)

  • § 1058. Duties of pedestrians

    All pedestrians shall obey the instructions of all traffic control devices which are applicable to them, and all instructions of enforcement officers relating to control of traffic. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1059. Driving through safety zone

    No vehicle shall at any time be driven through or within a safety zone. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)


  • Subchapter 006: TURNING AND STARTING AND SIGNALS ON STOPPING AND TURNING
  • § 1061. Turning at intersections

    A driver intending to turn at an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall proceed as follows:

    (1) Right turn. Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.

    (2) Left turns on two-way roadways. At any intersection where traffic is permitted to move in both directions on each roadway entering the intersection, an approach for a left turn shall be made in that portion of the right half of the roadway nearest the centerline thereof and by passing to the right of such centerline where it enters the intersection and after entering the intersection the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection to the right of the centerline of the roadway being entered. Whenever practicable the left turn shall be made in that portion of the intersection to the left of the center of the intersection.

    (3) Left turns on other than two-way roadways. At any intersection where traffic is restricted to one direction on one or more of the roadways, the driver of a vehicle intending to turn left at any such intersection shall approach the intersection in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of such vehicle and after entering the intersection the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection, as nearly as practicable, in the left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in such direction upon the roadway being entered. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1062. Turning prohibited

    No person shall turn a vehicle in order to proceed in the opposite direction on any curve, or upon the approach to or near the crest of a grade, where the vehicle cannot be seen by the driver of any other vehicle approaching from either direction for a distance of 500 feet. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1063. Starting parked vehicles

    No person shall move a vehicle which is stopped, standing, or parked unless the movement can be made with reasonable safety. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1064. Signals required; general obligation to turn and move safely

    (a) Before changing direction or materially slackening speed, a driver shall give warning of his or her intention with the hand signals as provided in section 1065 of this title, or with a mechanical or lighting device approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. A bicyclist shall give such hand signals unless he or she cannot do so safely.

    (b) A person shall not turn a vehicle at an intersection unless the vehicle is in proper position upon the roadway as required in section 1061 of this title, or turn a vehicle to enter an alley, private road, or driveway, or otherwise turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway unless such movement can be made with reasonable safety.

    (c) No person shall stop or suddenly decrease the speed of a vehicle without first giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided herein to the driver of any vehicle immediately to the rear when there is opportunity to give such signal.

    (d) A signal of intention to turn right or left when required shall be given continuously during not less than the last 100 feet traveled by the vehicle before turning. A bicyclist shall comply with this subsection unless he or she cannot do so safely.

    (e) The signals provided for in section 1065 of this title shall be used to indicate an intention to turn, change lanes, or start from a parked position and may not be flashed on one side only on a parked or disabled vehicle, or flashed as a courtesy or "do pass" signal to operators of other vehicles approaching from the rear. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 43.)

  • § 1065. Hand signals

    (a) A right or left turn shall not be made without first giving a signal of intention either by hand or by signal in accordance with section 1064 of this title. Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, all signals to indicate change of speed or direction, when given by hand, shall be given from the left side of the vehicle and in the following manner:

    (1) Left turn. - Hand and arm extended horizontally.

    (2) Right turn. - Hand and arm extended upward.

    (3) Stop or decrease speed. - Hand and arm extended downward.

    (b) A person operating a bicycle may give a right-turn signal by extending the right hand and arm horizontally and to the right side of the bicycle. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 2009, No. 114 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. May 20, 2010.)


  • Subchapter 007: SPECIAL STOPS REQUIRED
  • § 1071. Railroad grade crossings

    (a) A driver approaching a railroad grade crossing shall stop within 50 feet of, but not nearer than 15 feet from, the nearest rail of the railroad, and may not proceed until he or she can do so safely, when:

    (1) an electric or mechanical signal device gives warning of the immediate approach of a railroad train;

    (2) a crossing gate is lowered or a human flagman gives a signal of the approach or passage of a railroad train;

    (3) a railroad train approaching within 80 rods (1,320 feet) of the highway crossing emits a signal audible from that distance, and the train, by reason of its speed or nearness, is an immediate hazard;

    (4) a railroad train is plainly visible and is in hazardous proximity to or is at the crossing; or

    (5) a stop sign has been erected at the crossing pursuant to section 1006 of this title.

    (b) No person shall drive any vehicle through, around, or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad crossing while the gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.

    (c) Nothing in this section prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle across the tracks of a railroad at grade while a mechanical warning signal is in operation, provided he or she first brings the vehicle to a full stop and reasonably ascertains that the tracks can be crossed safely. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1983, No. 25, § 2.)

  • § 1072. Certain vehicles must stop

    (a)(1) Before crossing at grade any track or tracks of a railroad, the drivers of the following vehicles shall stop within 50 feet, but not less than 15 feet, from the nearest rail of the railroad and while so stopped shall look and listen in both directions along the track for any approaching train and for signals indicating the approach of a train, and may not proceed until he or she can do so safely:

    (A) any motor vehicle carrying passengers for hire except for jitneys designed to carry not more than seven passengers including the driver;

    (B) any school bus or multifunction school activity bus; and

    (C) any vehicle carrying explosive substances or flammable liquids as cargo or part of its cargo.

    (2) After stopping as required herein and upon proceeding when it is safe to do so, the driver of any such vehicle shall cross so that there will be no necessity for changing gears while traversing the crossing, and the driver may not shift gears while crossing the track or tracks.

    (b) No stop need be made at any crossing where an attendant, an enforcement officer, or a traffic-control signal directs traffic to proceed.

    (c) The driver of a Type I school bus stopping as required under subsection (a) of this section shall open the door of the bus before crossing the railroad tracks. Drivers of Type II school buses shall open the left front window.

    (d) Except when required by section 1071 of this title, stopping is not required at a crossing that has been signed as "exempt" in accordance with a designation of the Transportation Board. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1979, No. 39, § 1; 1983, No. 49, eff. April 21, 1983; 1985, No. 2; 1985, No. 268 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1991, No. 49, § 2, eff. June 4, 1991; 1997, No. 32, § 2; 2015, No. 50, § 8.)

  • § 1073. Heavy equipment

    (a) No person shall operate or move any crawler-type tractor, steam shovel, derrick, roller, or any equipment or structure having a normal operating speed of 10 miles per hour or less upon or across any tracks at a railroad grade crossing except in accordance with this section.

    (b) Before making any crossing the person operating or moving any such equipment shall first stop within 50 feet of, but not nearer than 15 feet from, the nearest rail of such railroad and while so stopped shall listen and look in both directions along such track for any approaching train and for signals indicating the approach of a train, and may not proceed until the crossing can be made safely.

    (c) No crossing may be made when warning is given by automatic signal, crossing gates, flagman, or otherwise of the immediate approach of a railroad train or car.

    (d) If a flagman is provided by the railroad, movement over the crossing shall be under his or her direction. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1074. Vehicle entering roadway

    A driver of a vehicle emerging from an alley, private road, legal trail, class 4 town highway, class 3 town highway serving only one residence, or driveway shall stop immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto the sidewalk area extending across any alleyway or driveway, shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian as may be necessary to avoid contact, and upon entering the roadway shall yield the right of way to all vehicles approaching on the roadway. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; 1995, No. 73 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)

  • § 1075. Passing school bus

    (a) The operator of a motor vehicle, including authorized emergency vehicles under section 1015 of this title, upon meeting or overtaking a vehicle marked and equipped as provided in section 1283 of this title which has stopped on the highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging public or private schoolchildren, shall stop his or her vehicle immediately and shall keep it stationary while the flashing red signal lights are in operation.

    (b) The driver of a vehicle need not stop upon a highway with separate roadways upon meeting or overtaking a school bus which is on a different roadway, or upon a controlled access highway where the school bus is stopped in a loading zone which is a part of or adjacent to the highway at a point where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1975, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1981, No. 97, § 3.)

  • § 1076. Commercial motor vehicles; railroad crossings

    (a) Persons operating a commercial vehicle who are not required to stop at railroad crossings shall slow to a speed sufficient to allow for a clear view of the tracks in both directions, and stop before reaching the crossing if a train is approaching in either direction.

    (b) Operators of commercial and noncommercial vehicles shall:

    (1) allow sufficient space to drive completely through a railroad crossing without stopping;

    (2) obey a traffic control device or the directions of an enforcement official at the crossing;

    (3) not attempt to cross tracks if there is insufficient undercarriage clearance. (Added 2003, No. 26, § 4.)


  • Subchapter 008: SPEED RESTRICTIONS
  • § 1081. Basic rule and maximum limits

    (a) No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions, having regard for the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event, speed shall be controlled as necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other object on or adjacent to the highway.

    (b) Except when there exists a special hazard that requires lower speed in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, the limits specified in this section or established as hereinafter authorized are maximum lawful speeds, and no person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed in excess of 50 miles per hour.

    (c) The maximum speed limits set forth in this section may be altered in accordance with sections 1003, 1004, 1007, and 1010 of this title.

    (d) The driver of every vehicle shall, consistent with the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, drive at an appropriate, reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching the crest of a hill, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazard exists. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1082. Slow-moving vehicles

    All slow-moving vehicles shall keep at all times as close to the right-hand side of the highway as is reasonably practicable. A person operating a motor vehicle which impedes other traffic on a highway shall pull off the highway at the first opportunity to allow the traffic to pass before proceeding. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1083. Special speed limitations

    (a) No person may drive any vehicle equipped with iron, steel, or solid rubber tires at a speed greater than 10 miles per hour.

    (b) No person may drive a vehicle over any bridge or other elevated structure constituting a part of a highway at a speed which is greater than the maximum speed which can be maintained with safety to the bridge or structure, except when the bridge or structure is signposted as provided in this section. The legislative body of a municipality may erect notices one hundred feet in both directions along the highway stating the maximum speed at which vehicles may be operated on the bridge or structure.

    (c) The Traffic Committee, upon request from the legislative body of any municipality shall, or upon its own initiative may, conduct an investigation of any bridge or other elevated structure constituting a part of a highway, and if it finds that the bridge or structure cannot, with safety to itself, withstand vehicles traveling at the speed otherwise permissible under this chapter, the Committee shall declare the maximum speed of vehicles upon the bridge or structure and shall cause or permit suitable signs stating the maximum speed to be erected and maintained before each end of the bridge or structure.

    (d) No person may drive a vehicle towing a trailer exempted from the weight requirements as provided in subsection 1307(h) of this title at speeds greater than 35 miles per hour. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1975, No. 213 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. April 1, 1976.)


  • Subchapter 009: VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES
  • § 1091. Negligent operation; grossly negligent operation

    (a) Negligent operation.

    (1) A person who operates a motor vehicle on a public highway in a negligent manner shall be guilty of negligent operation.

    (2) The standard for a conviction for negligent operation in violation of this subsection shall be ordinary negligence, examining whether the person breached a duty to exercise ordinary care.

    (3) A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both. If the person has been previously convicted of a violation of this subsection, the person shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $3,000.00, or both. If serious bodily injury to or death of any person other than the operator results, the operator shall be subject to imprisonment for not more than two years or to a fine of not more than $3,000.00, or both. If serious bodily injury or death results to more than one person other than the operator, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each decedent or person injured.

    (b) Grossly negligent operation.

    (1) A person who operates a motor vehicle on a public highway in a grossly negligent manner shall be guilty of grossly negligent operation.

    (2) The standard for a conviction for grossly negligent operation in violation of this subsection shall be gross negligence, examining whether the person engaged in conduct which involved a gross deviation from the care that a reasonable person would have exercised in that situation.

    (3) A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both. If the person has previously been convicted of a violation of this section, the person shall be imprisoned not more than four years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both. If serious bodily injury to or death of any person other than the operator results, the operator shall be imprisoned for not more than 15 years or fined not more than $15,000.00, or both. If serious bodily injury or death results to more than one person other than the operator, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each decedent or person injured.

    (c) The provisions of this section do not limit or restrict the prosecution for manslaughter.

    (d) A person convicted of violating subsection (b) of this section shall be assessed a surcharge of $50.00, which shall be added to any fine or surcharge imposed by the court. The court shall collect and transfer the surcharge assessed under this subsection to be credited to the DUI Enforcement Fund. The collection procedures described in 13 V.S.A. § 5240 shall be utilized in the collection of this surcharge. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1981, No. 220 (Adj. Sess.); 1991, No. 55, § 16; 1995, No. 21, § 4; 1995, No. 151 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 23; 2007, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2015, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 38.)

  • § 1092. Damaging surface of road

    No person may operate or move upon or over any highway or bridge a vehicle, machine, or contrivance which has any flange, ribs, clamps, or other object attached to or made a part of, its wheels which will injure, cut into, or destroy the surface of the highway or bridge to any appreciable extent. This provision does not restrict the right of any person to use tires which are equipped with "studs" or "cleats," so-called, of a type designed for general use to facilitate travel in winter. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1093. Smoke screen device

    No person may operate, or permit to be operated, a motor vehicle which is equipped with any special device or contrivance, subject to the control of the operator, designed to give off a smoke screen, so-called, or designed to impede or hinder any law enforcement officer, in the discharge of his or her duties. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1094. Operation without consent of owner; aggravated operation without consent of owner

    (a) A person commits the crime of operation without consent of the owner if the person, without the consent of the owner, knowingly takes, obtains, operates, uses, or continues to operate the motor vehicle of another.

    (b) A person commits the crime of aggravated operation without consent of the owner if the person, without the consent of the owner, knowingly takes, obtains, operates, uses, or continues to operate the motor vehicle of another, and:

    (1) The motor vehicle is not recovered within 24 hours of the time it is determined the theft occurred regardless of whether the operator is then in actual or constructive possession of the vehicle; or

    (2) The motor vehicle sustains $500.00 or more in damage during the commission of the offense; or

    (3) The person does any of the following:

    (A) attempts to alter or disguise or alters or disguises the appearance of the motor vehicle;

    (B) attempts to alter or remove or alters or removes the vehicle identification number as defined in subdivision 2001(3) of this title;

    (C) uses the motor vehicle in the commission of a felony;

    (D) causes bodily injury to another while operating or exercising control of the motor vehicle;

    (E) abandons the motor vehicle outside the State of Vermont; or

    (F) unlawfully attaches or otherwise displays in or upon the motor vehicle registration plates other than those officially issued for the motor vehicle.

    (c) A person convicted under subsection (a) of this section of operation without consent of the owner shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

    (d) A person convicted under subsection (b) of this section of aggravated operation without consent of the owner shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $2,000.00, or both.

    (e) This section shall not be construed to limit or restrict prosecutions for grand larceny.

    (f) A person convicted of violating this section shall be assessed a surcharge of $50.00, which shall be added to any fine or surcharge imposed by the court. The court shall collect and transfer the surcharge assessed under this subsection to be credited to the DUI Enforcement Fund. The collection procedures described in 13 V.S.A. § 5240 shall be utilized in the collection of this surcharge. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.) § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1973, No. 109, § 9, eff. May 25, 1973; 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 24; 1999, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 1095. Entertainment picture visible to the operator

    A person shall not operate upon a highway in this State a moving motor vehicle carrying or having installed a screen or other device transmitting a moving entertainment picture that is visible to the operator. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1987, No. 112, § 10; 2005, No. 167 (Adj. Sess.), § 17, eff. May 20, 2006; 2011, No. 25, § 1, eff. May 11, 2011.)

  • § 1095a. Junior operator use of portable electronic devices

    (a) A person under 18 years of age shall not use any portable electronic device as defined in subdivision 4(82) of this title while operating a moving motor vehicle in a place open temporarily or permanently to public or general circulation of vehicles.

    (b) In addition, a person under 18 years of age shall not use any portable electronic device while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, including while the vehicle is stationary, unless otherwise provided in this section. As used in this subsection:

    (1) "Public highway" means a State or municipal highway as defined in 19 V.S.A. § 1(12).

    (2) "Operating" means operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other temporary delays. "Operating" does not include operating a motor vehicle with or without the motor running when the operator has moved the vehicle to the side of or off the public highway and has halted in a location where the vehicle can safely and lawfully remain stationary.

    (c) The prohibitions of this section shall not apply when use of a portable electronic device is necessary for a person to communicate with law enforcement or emergency service personnel under emergency circumstances. (Added 2009, No. 150 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. June 1, 2010; amended 2013, No. 189 (Adj. Sess.), § 42, eff. Oct. 1, 2014; 2015, No. 50, § 11.)

  • § 1095b. Handheld use of portable electronic device prohibited

    (a) Definition. As used in this section, "hands-free use" means the use of a portable electronic device without use of either hand by employing an internal feature of, or an attachment to, the device.

    (b) Use of handheld portable electronic device prohibited.

    (1) A person shall not use a portable electronic device while operating a moving motor vehicle in a place open temporarily or permanently to public or general circulation of vehicles.

    (2) In addition, a person shall not use a portable electronic device while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway in Vermont, including while the vehicle is stationary, unless otherwise provided in this section. As used in this subdivision (b)(2):

    (A) "Public highway" means a State or municipal highway as defined in 19 V.S.A. § 1(12).

    (B) "Operating" means operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other temporary delays. "Operating" does not include operating a motor vehicle with or without the motor running when the operator has moved the vehicle to the side of or off the public highway and has halted in a location where the vehicle can safely and lawfully remain stationary.

    (3) The prohibitions of this subsection shall not apply:

    (A) To hands-free use.

    (B) To activation or deactivation of hands-free use, as long as any accessory for securely mounting the device is not affixed to the windshield in violation of section 1125 of this title.

    (C) When use of a portable electronic device is necessary for a person to communicate with law enforcement or emergency service personnel under emergency circumstances.

    (D) To use of an ignition interlock device, as defined in section 1200 of this title.

    (E) To use of a global positioning or navigation system if it is installed by the manufacturer or securely mounted in the vehicle in a manner that does not violate section 1125 of this title. As used in this subdivision (b)(3)(E), "securely mounted" means the device is placed in an accessory or location in the vehicle, other than the operator's hands, where the device will remain stationary under typical driving conditions.

    (c) Penalties. Penalties.

    (1) A person who violates this section commits a traffic violation and shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100.00 and not more than $200.00 for a first violation, and of not less than $250.00 and not more than $500.00 for a second or subsequent violation within any two-year period.

    (2) A person convicted of violating this section while operating within the following areas shall have four points assessed against his or her driving record for a first conviction and five points assessed for a second or subsequent conviction:

    (A) a properly designated work zone in which construction, maintenance, or utility personnel are present; or

    (B) a school zone marked with warning signs conforming to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

    (3) A person convicted of violating this section outside the areas designated in subdivision (2) of this subsection shall have two points assessed against his or her driving record.

    (d)(1) Operators of commercial motor vehicles shall be governed by the provisions of chapter 39 of this title (Commercial Driver License Act) instead of the provisions of this chapter with respect to the handheld use of mobile telephones and texting while operating a commercial motor vehicle.

    (2) A person shall not be issued more than one complaint for any violation of this section, section 1095a of this title (junior operator use of portable electronic devices), or section 1099 of this title (texting prohibited) that arises from the same incident. (Added 2013, No. 57, § 26, eff. Jan. 1, 2014; amended 2013, No. 189 (Adj. Sess.), § 40, eff. Oct. 1, 2014; 2015, No. 50, § 12; 2017, No. 71, § 12.)

  • § 1096. General penalties

    (a) Any person who violates the speed restrictions of subsection 1083(b) of this title shall be fined not more than $50.00 and is liable for damages for injuries thereby done to the bridge or structure, which may be recovered in a civil action brought under this section in the name and for the benefit of the State or municipal corporation liable for the repairs of the bridge or structure, with costs.

    (b) A parent or guardian who knowingly permits a child under the age of 16 years, in his or her custody, to violate any provision of sections 1136 through 1141, inclusive, of this title shall be fined not more than $25.00. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1097. Excessive speed

    No person shall operate a motor vehicle on a public highway at a speed of 60 miles per hour or more and at least 30 miles per hour in excess of a State speed zone or local speed limit. A person who violates this section shall be imprisoned upon a first conviction not more than three months or fined not more than $300.00, or both; and upon a second conviction shall be imprisoned not more than six months or fined not more than $500.00, or both. (Added 1989, No. 109, § 5, eff. July 1, 1990.)

  • § 1098. Disposition of pending cases

    (a) The Judicial Bureau shall enter judgment against the defendant in all cases in which:

    (1) prior to January 1, 2007, the defendant filed an answer admitting or not contesting the violation;

    (2) the defendant paid all or a portion of the fine, penalty, or surcharge; and

    (3) the issuing officer did not file the original complaint prior to July 1, 2007.

    (b) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, with respect to any judgment entered pursuant to this section, the Judicial Bureau shall immediately seal the record and shall not report the judgment to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. Any funds received by the Judicial Bureau for judgments under this section shall be deposited in the Court Technology Special Fund up to $150,000.00, and the balance to be deposited to the Municipal Ticket Repayment Revolving Fund defined in 4 V.S.A. § 28.

    (c) The Judicial Bureau shall dismiss the action in all cases in which:

    (1) the defendant filed an answer denying or contesting the violation prior to January 1, 2007; and

    (2) the issuing officer did not file the original complaint prior to July 1, 2007. (Added 2007, No. 51, § 17.)

  • § 1099. Texting prohibited

    (a) As used in this section, "texting" means the reading or the manual composing or sending of electronic communications, including text messages, instant messages, or e-mails, using a portable electronic device as defined in subdivision 4(82) of this title. Use of a global positioning or navigation system shall be governed by section 1095b of this title.

    (b)(1) A person shall not engage in texting while operating a moving motor vehicle in a place open temporarily or permanently to public or general circulation of vehicles.

    (2) In addition, a person shall not engage in texting while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway in Vermont, including while the vehicle is stationary, unless otherwise provided under this section. As used in this subdivision (b)(2):

    (A) "Public highway" means a State or municipal highway as defined in 19 V.S.A. § 1(12).

    (B) "Operating" means operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other temporary delays. "Operating" does not include operating a motor vehicle with or without the motor running when the operator has moved the vehicle to the side of or off the public highway and has halted in a location where the vehicle can safely and lawfully remain stationary.

    (c) A person who violates this section commits a traffic violation as defined in section 2302 of this title and shall be subject to a penalty of not less than $100.00 and not more than $200.00 for a first violation, and of not less than $250.00 and not more than $500.00 for a second or subsequent violation within any two-year period. (Added 2009, No. 150 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. June 1, 2010; amended 2013, No. 57, § 24; 2015, No. 50, § 13.)


  • Subchapter 010: STOPPING, STANDING, AND PARKING
  • § 1101. Stopping, standing, or parking

    (a) No person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, upon the paved or main-traveled part of the highway or within that portion of a highway right of way which the Traffic Committee finds to be a dangerous location on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation and designates as a no-parking zone by suitable signs at each end, and by such additional signs as the Committee may determine.

    (b) Where parking is permitted, at all times an unobstructed width of the highway opposite a standing vehicle shall be left for the free passage of other vehicles and a clear view permitted of any stopped vehicles from a distance of 200 feet in each direction upon the highway.

    (c) This section does not apply to any vehicle which is disabled while on the paved or main-traveled portion of a highway in a manner and to the extent that it is impossible or impractical to avoid stopping and temporarily leaving the disabled vehicle in that position, nor to stopping at a railroad grade crossing. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1102. Removal of stopped vehicles

    (a) Subject to subsection (c) of this section, any enforcement officer is authorized to:

    (1) cause the removal of a vehicle stopped, parked, or standing contrary to section 1101 of this title, or require the driver or other person in charge to move the vehicle to a safe position off the main-traveled part of the highway;

    (2) cause the removal of an unattended vehicle or cargo that is an obstruction to traffic or to maintenance of the highway to a garage or other place of safety;

    (3) cause the removal of any vehicle found upon a highway, as defined in 19 V.S.A. § 1, to a garage or other place of safety when:

    (A) the officer is informed by a reliable source that the vehicle has been stolen or taken without the consent of its owner; or

    (B) the person in charge of the vehicle is unable to provide for its removal; or

    (C) the person in charge of the vehicle has been arrested under circumstances that require his or her immediate removal from control of the vehicle.

    (b) In the case of a crash involving a serious bodily injury or fatality, clearance of the crash scene may be delayed until the crash investigation is completed.

    (c) A towing operator shall undertake removal of a vehicle or cargo under this section only if summoned to the scene by the vehicle owner or vehicle operator, or an enforcement officer, and is authorized to perform the removal as follows:

    (1) The owner or operator of the vehicle or cargo being removed shall summon to the scene the towing operator of the owner's or operator's choice in consultation with the enforcement officer and designate the location to where the vehicle or cargo is to be removed.

    (2) The provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not apply when the owner or operator is incapacitated or otherwise unable to summon a towing operator, does not make a timely choice of a towing operator, or defers to the enforcement officer's selection of the towing operator.

    (3) The authority provided to the owner or operator under subdivision (1) of this subsection may be superseded by the enforcement officer if the towing operator of choice cannot respond to the scene in a timely fashion and the vehicle or cargo is a hazard, impedes the flow of traffic, or may not legally remain in its location in the opinion of the enforcement officer.

    (d)(1) Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, the vehicle owner and the motor carrier, if any, shall be responsible to the law enforcement agency or towing operator for reasonable costs incurred solely in the removal and subsequent disposition of the vehicle or cargo under this section.

    (2) When applicable, the provisions of 10 V.S.A. § 6615 (liability for release of hazardous materials) shall apply in lieu of this subsection.

    (e) Except for intentionally inflicted damage or gross negligence, an enforcement officer or a person acting at the direction of an enforcement officer who removes from a highway a motor vehicle or cargo that is obstructing traffic or maintenance activities or creating a hazard to traffic shall not be liable for damage to the vehicle or cargo incurred during the removal.

    (f) Any enforcement officer causing the removal of a motor vehicle under this section shall notify the Department as to the location and date of discovery of the vehicle, date of removal of the vehicle, name of the towing service removing the vehicle, and place of storage. The officer shall record and remove from the vehicle, if possible, any information that might aid the Department in ascertaining the ownership of the vehicle and forward the information to the Department. A motor vehicle towed under authority of this section may qualify as an abandoned motor vehicle under chapter 21, subchapter 7 of this title.

    (g)(1) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, the operator of a vehicle involved in a crash who is required by law to stop the vehicle, or who elects to stop the vehicle, at the crash scene shall move and stop the vehicle at the nearest location where the vehicle will not impede traffic or jeopardize the safety of a person.

    (2) The duty to move a vehicle under subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not apply when:

    (A) the crash involved the death of or apparent injury to any person;

    (B) the vehicle to be moved was transporting hazardous material;

    (C) the vehicle cannot be operated under its own power without further damage to the vehicle or the highway; or

    (D) the movement cannot be made without endangering other highway users.

    (3) An operator required to move a vehicle under this subsection who fails to do so shall not be ticketed, assessed a civil penalty, or have points assessed against his or her driving record. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1973, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1997, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 14, eff. April 27, 1998; 2015, No. 50, § 23; 2017, No. 71, § 25, eff. June 8, 2017.)

  • § 1103. Repealed. 1973, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 9.

  • § 1104. Stopping prohibited

    (a) Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or the directions of an enforcement officer or official traffic-control device, no person may:

    (1) Stop, stand, or park a vehicle:

    (A) on the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street;

    (B) on a sidewalk;

    (C) within an intersection;

    (D) on a crosswalk;

    (E) alongside or opposite any street excavation or obstruction when stopping, standing, or parking would obstruct traffic;

    (F) upon any bridge or other elevated structure or within a highway tunnel;

    (G) on any railroad tracks; or

    (H) at any place where official signs prohibit stopping.

    (2) Stand or park a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except momentarily to pick up or discharge a passenger:

    (A) in front of a public or private driveway;

    (B) within six feet of a fire hydrant;

    (C) within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection;

    (D) within 30 feet upon the approach to any flashing signal, stop sign, or traffic control light located at the side of a roadway;

    (E) within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to any fire station and on the side of a street opposite and within 75 feet of the entrance to any fire station, when properly signposted;

    (F) at any place where official signs prohibit standing.

    (3) Park a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except temporarily for the purpose of and while actually engaged in loading or unloading merchandise or a passenger:

    (A) within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing;

    (B) at any place where official signs prohibit parking.

    (b) No person may move a vehicle not lawfully under his or her control into any prohibited area or an unlawful distance away from a curb. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1105. Additional parking regulations

    (a) Except as otherwise provided by local ordinance, every vehicle stopped or parked upon a two-way roadway shall be stopped or parked with the right-hand wheels parallel to and within 12 inches of the right-hand curb or if there is no curb, within 12 inches of the edge of the roadway.

    (b) Except when otherwise provided by local ordinance, every vehicle stopped or parked upon a one-way roadway shall be so stopped or parked parallel to and within 12 inches of a curb or, if there is no curb, within 12 inches of the edge of the roadway, in the direction of authorized traffic movement. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1106. Limitations on use of State highway facilities

    (a) As used in this section, "State highway facility" means a State highway rest area, picnic ground, parking area, or park-and-ride facility.

    (b) No person shall enter or remain on any State highway facility for the purpose of overnight camping unless the particular facility has been designated for that purpose by the Traffic Committee.

    (c) On the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation or findings as to adverse effects on the quiet enjoyment and property values of people living adjacent to a State highway facility, the Traffic Committee may designate the size and types of vehicles allowed to park in a State highway facility or in particular areas of a State highway facility.

    (d) Notice of the prohibitions under this section shall be posted at the affected facilities by regulatory signs conforming to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. (Added 2007, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 32.)


  • Subchapter 011: MISCELLANEOUS RULES
  • § 1110. Prohibited idling of motor vehicles

    (a)(1) General prohibition. A person shall not cause or permit operation of the primary propulsion engine of a motor vehicle for more than five minutes in any 60-minute period, while the vehicle is stationary.

    (2) Exceptions. The five-minute limitation of subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not apply when:

    (A) a military vehicle; an ambulance; a police, fire, or rescue vehicle; or another vehicle used in a public safety or emergency capacity idles as necessary for the conduct of official operations;

    (B) an armored vehicle idles while a person remains inside the vehicle to guard the contents or while the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded;

    (C) a motor vehicle idles because of highway traffic conditions, at the direction of an official traffic control device or signal, or at the direction of a law enforcement official;

    (D) the health or safety of a vehicle occupant requires idling, or when a passenger bus idles as necessary to maintain passenger comfort while nondriver passengers are on board;

    (E) idling is necessary to operate safety equipment such as windshield defrosters, and operation of the equipment is needed to address specific safety concerns;

    (F) idling of the primary propulsion engine is needed to power work-related mechanical, hydraulic, or electrical operations other than propulsion, such as mixing or processing cargo or straight truck refrigeration, and the motor vehicle is idled to power such work-related operations;

    (G) a motor vehicle of a model year prior to 2018 with an occupied sleeper berth compartment is idled for purposes of air-conditioning or heating during a rest or sleep period;

    (H) a motor vehicle idles as necessary for maintenance, service, repair, or diagnostic purposes or as part of a State or federal inspection;

    (I) a school bus idles on school grounds in compliance with rules adopted pursuant to the provisions of subsection 1282(f) of this title;

    (J) the idling of vehicles at the place of business of a registered motor vehicle dealer is necessary to maintain the premises of the place of business; or

    (K) a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less idles on a driveway or parking area on private property.

    (b) Operation of an auxiliary power unit, generator set, or other mobile idle reduction technology is an alternative to operating the primary propulsion engine of a motor vehicle and is not subject to the prohibition of subdivision (a)(1) of this section.

    (c) In addition to the exemptions set forth in subdivision (a)(2) of this section, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, in consultation with the Secretary of Natural Resources, may adopt rules governing times or circumstances when operation of the primary propulsion engine of a stationary motor vehicle is reasonably required.

    (d) A person adjudicated of violating subdivision (a)(1) of this section shall be:

    (1) assessed a penalty of not more than $10.00, which penalty shall be exempt from surcharges under 13 V.S.A. § 7282(a), for a first violation;

    (2) assessed a penalty of not more than $50.00 for a second violation; and

    (3) assessed a penalty of not more than $100.00 for a third or subsequent violation. (Added 2013, No. 57, § 28, eff. May 1, 2014.)

  • § 1111. Unattended motor vehicle

    No person shall permit a motor vehicle to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key from the ignition and effectively setting the brake, air temperatures permitting, and, when the vehicle is standing upon a grade, turning the front of the front wheels toward the curb or side of the highway. This section does not apply to authorized emergency vehicles. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1112. Closed highways

    (a) Except by the written permit of the authority responsible for the closing, a person shall not drive any vehicle over any highway across which there is a barrier or a sign indicating that the highway is closed to public travel.

    (b) An authority responsible for closing a highway to public travel may erect a sign, which shall be visible to highway users and proximate to the barrier or sign indicating that the highway is closed to public travel, indicating that violators are subject to penalties and civil damages.

    (c) A municipal, county, or State entity that deploys police, fire, ambulance, rescue, or other emergency services in order to aid a stranded operator of a vehicle, or to move a disabled vehicle, operated on a closed highway in violation of this section, may recover from the operator in a civil action the cost of providing the services, if at the time of the violation a sign satisfying the requirements of subsection (b) of this section was installed. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 2013, No. 57, § 18.)

  • § 1113. Limitations on backing

    (a) The driver of a vehicle shall not back the same unless such movement can be made with safety and without interfering with other traffic.

    (b) The driver of a vehicle shall not back the same upon any shoulder or roadway of any controlled-access highway. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1114. Riding on motorcycles and motor-driven cycles

    (a) A person operating a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached thereto, and such operator shall not carry any other person nor shall any other person ride on a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle unless such motorcycle or motor-driven cycle is designed to carry more than one person, in which event a passenger may ride upon the permanent and regular seat if designed for two persons, or upon another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle or motor-driven cycle at the rear or side of the operator.

    (b) A person shall ride upon a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle only while sitting astride the seat, facing forward, with one leg on each side of the motorcycle or motor-driven cycle. The requirement of this subsection shall not apply to occupants of autocycles or of sidecars.

    (c) No person shall operate a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle while carrying any package, bundle, or other article which prevents him or her from keeping both hands on the handlebars.

    (d) No operator shall carry any person, nor shall any person ride, in a position that will interfere with the operation or control of the motorcycle or motor-driven cycle or the view of the operator. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1977, No. 20, § 2; 2009, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 19f, eff. Sept. 1, 2010; 2013, No. 189 (Adj. Sess.), § 36.)

  • § 1115. Operating motorcycles and motor-driven cycles on roadways laned for traffic

    (a) All motorcycles or motor-driven cycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such a manner as to deprive any motorcycle or motor-driven cycle of the full use of a lane.

    (b) The operator of a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.

    (c) No person shall operate a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.

    (d) No motorcycle or motor-driven cycle may be operated in the same lane with, and along side of or closer than 10 feet ahead of, or 10 feet behind another motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or other motor vehicle.

    (e) Subsections (b) and (c) of this section shall not apply to police officers in the performance of their official duties. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1977, No. 20, § 3; 2009, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 19g, eff. Sept. 1, 2010.)

  • § 1116. Clinging to other vehicles

    No person riding a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle shall attach himself or herself or the motorcycle or motor-driven cycle to any other vehicle on a roadway. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1977, No. 20, § 4; 2009, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 19h, eff. Sept. 1, 2010.)

  • § 1117. Footrests and handlebars

    (a) Any motorcycle or motor-driven cycle carrying a passenger, other than in a sidecar or enclosed cab, shall be equipped with footrests for such passenger.

    (b) No person shall operate any motorcycle or motor-driven cycle with handlebars more than 15 inches in height above that portion of the seat occupied by the operator. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1977, No. 20, § 5; 2009, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 19i, eff. Sept. 1, 2010.)

  • § 1118. Obstruction to driver's view

    (a) A person shall not operate or attempt to operate a motor vehicle when more than three persons over two years of age, including the operator, are occupying the front seat or seats or are in the front or driving compartment of the motor vehicle. However, this provision does not apply to any motor vehicle the front seat of which was designed by the manufacturer for occupancy by more than three persons, or to any vehicle which has a front seating area which is at least 76 inches in width, as received from the manufacturer. In no case shall a vehicle be operated with more than four persons over two years of age occupying the front seat or seats or who are in the front or driving compartment of the motor vehicle.

    (b) In any event, a person may not operate a motor vehicle when it is so loaded as to obstruct the view of the driver to the front or sides of the vehicle or as to interfere with the driver's control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle.

    (c) No passenger in a vehicle shall ride in such position as to interfere with the driver's view ahead or to the sides, or to interfere with his or her control over the driving mechanism of the vehicle. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1975, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 1119. Opening and closing vehicle doors

    No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side nearest to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of traffic, nor may any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle nearest to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1120. Repealed. 1983, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 5.

  • § 1121. Coasting prohibited

    (a) [Repealed.]

    (b) No driver of a motor truck or motor bus, when traveling upon a downgrade, shall coast with the clutch disengaged. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1997, No. 55, § 11(1), eff. June 26, 1997.)

  • § 1122. Following fire apparatus prohibited

    No operator of a motor vehicle, other than one on official business relating to the suppression of fire or the handling of an emergency, shall follow any fire apparatus traveling to an emergency closer than 500 feet, or in a manner to interfere with the suppression of a fire or the handling of the emergency, or so as to endanger the life of any occupant of the fire apparatus, or thereafter park his or her vehicle so as to interfere with the suppression of a fire or the handling of the emergency. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1123. Driving over fire hose prohibited

    No person shall operate a motor vehicle over any unprotected hose of a fire fighting unit laid down on any highway, alley, private road, or driveway, to be used at any fire or alarm of fire, without the consent of the fire department official in command. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1124. Position of operator

    No person may steer or operate, attempt to steer or operate, or participate in the steering or operation of a motor vehicle, except in an emergency, unless he or she is seated directly and immediately behind the steering wheel or other steering apparatus. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1125. Obstructing windshields, windows

    (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person shall not operate a motor vehicle on which material or items have been painted or adhered on or over, or hung in back of, any transparent part of a motor vehicle windshield, vent windows, or side windows located immediately to the left and right of the operator. The prohibition of this section on hanging items shall apply only when a hanging item materially obstructs the driver's view.

    (b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, a person may operate a motor vehicle with material or items painted or adhered on or over, or hung in back of, the windshield, vent windows, or side windows:

    (1) in a space not over four inches high and 12 inches long in the lower right-hand corner of the windshield;

    (2) in such space as the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may specify for location of any sticker required by governmental regulation;

    (3) in a space not over two inches high and two and one-half inches long in the upper left-hand corner of the windshield;

    (4) if the operator is a person employed by the federal, State, or local government or a volunteer emergency responder operating an authorized emergency vehicle, who places any necessary equipment in back of the windshield of the vehicle, provided the equipment does not interfere with the operator's control of the driving mechanism of the vehicle;

    (5) on a motor vehicle that is for sale by a licensed automobile dealer prior to the sale of the vehicle, in a space not over three inches high and six inches long in the upper left-hand corner of the windshield, and in a space not over four inches high and 18 inches long in the upper right-hand corner of the windshield; or

    (6) if the object is a rearview mirror, or is an electronic toll-collection transponder located either between the roof line and the rearview mirror post or behind the rearview mirror.

    (c) The Commissioner may grant an exemption to the prohibition of this section upon application from a person required for medical reasons to be shielded from the rays of the sun and who attaches to the application a document signed by a licensed physician or optometrist certifying that shielding from the rays of the sun is a medical necessity. The physician or optometrist certification shall be renewed every four years. However, when a licensed physician or optometrist has previously certified to the Commissioner that an applicant's condition is both permanent and stable, the exemption may be renewed by the applicant without submission of a form signed by a licensed physician or optometrist. Additionally, the window shading or tinting permitted under this subsection shall be limited to the vent windows or side windows located immediately to the left and right of the operator. The exemption provided in this subsection shall terminate upon the transfer of the approved vehicle and at that time the applicable window tinting shall be removed by the seller. Furthermore, if the material described in this subsection tears or bubbles or is otherwise worn to prohibit clear vision, it shall be removed or replaced.

    (d) The rear side windows and the back window may be obstructed only if the motor vehicle is equipped on each side with a securely attached mirror, which provides the operator with a clear view of the roadway in the rear and on both sides of the motor vehicle. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1977, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.); 2001, No. 75 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 2001, No. 112 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2005, No. 89 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2015, No. 50, § 15.)

  • § 1126. Putting glass, other items, on highway prohibited

    (a) No person shall drop or deposit upon any highway any glass bottle, glass, nails, tacks, wire, cans, or any other substance likely to injure any person, animal, or vehicle upon the highway.

    (b) A person shall immediately remove or cause to be removed any destructive or injurious material which he drops or deposits, or permits to be dropped or deposited upon any highway.

    (c) If the throwing or depositing was done from a motor vehicle, except a motor bus or a bus transporting schoolchildren, it is prima facie evidence that the throwing or depositing was done by the operator of the motor vehicle.

    (d) A person removing a wrecked or damaged vehicle from a highway shall remove any glass or other injurious substance dropped upon the highway from the vehicle. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1126a. Depositing snow onto or across certain highways prohibited

    (a) No person, other than an employee in the performance of his or her official duties or other person authorized by the Agency of Transportation (in the case of State highways) or selectboard (in the case of town highways), shall plow or otherwise deposit snow onto the traveled way, shoulder, or sidewalk of a State highway or a class 1, 2, or 3 town highway.

    (b) Nothing in this section should be construed to be in derogation of any municipal ordinance regulating the deposit of snow within the limits of town highways. (Added 1997, No. 150 (Adj. Sess.), § 17.)

  • § 1127. Control in presence of animals

    (a) Whenever upon a public highway and approaching a vehicle drawn by a draft animal, an animal upon which a person is riding, or animals being herded, the operator of a motor vehicle shall operate the vehicle in such a manner as to exercise every reasonable precaution to prevent the frightening of any animal and to ensure the safety and protection of the animal and the person riding, driving, or herding.

    (b) The operator of a motor vehicle shall yield to any animals being herded on or across a highway. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1989, No. 55; 2009, No. 114 (Adj. Sess.), § 5.)

  • § 1128. Accidents-Duty to stop

    (a) The operator of a motor vehicle who has caused or is involved in a crash resulting in injury to any person other than the operator, or in damage to any property other than the vehicle then under his or her control, shall immediately stop and render any assistance reasonably necessary. Subsection 1102(g) of this title (stopping not to impede traffic or jeopardize safety; exceptions) governs the location where a person shall stop. The operator shall give his or her name, residence, license number, and the name of the owner of the motor vehicle to any person who is injured or whose property is damaged and to any enforcement officer. A person who violates this section shall be fined not more than $2,000.00 or imprisoned for not more than two years, or both.

    (b) If serious bodily injury results from the accident, a person violating subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $3,000.00 or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.

    (c) If death results from the accident, a person violating subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $3,000.00 or imprisoned for not less than one year nor more than 15 years, or both.

    (d) A person convicted of violating this section shall be assessed a surcharge of $50.00, which shall be added to any fine or surcharge imposed by the court. The court shall collect and transfer the surcharge assessed under this subsection to be credited to the DUI Enforcement Fund. The collection procedures described in 13 V.S.A. § 5240 shall be utilized in the collection of this surcharge. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1981, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1995, No. 151 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 25; 2017, No. 71, § 26, eff. June 8, 2017.)

  • § 1129. Accidents-Reports

    (a) The operator of a motor vehicle involved in an accident whereby a person is injured or whereby there is total damage to all property to the extent of $3,000.00 or more shall make a written report concerning the accident to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles on forms furnished by the Commissioner. The written report shall be mailed to the Commissioner within 72 hours after the accident. The Commissioner may require further facts concerning the accident to be provided upon forms furnished by him or her.

    (b) As used in this section, the word "accident" refers only to incidents and events in which the motor vehicle involved comes into physical contact with a person, object, or another motor vehicle. It shall not include such contact where a vehicle involved is being used by a law enforcement officer as a barrier to prevent passage of a vehicle being operated by a suspected violator of the law. In such cases, the law enforcement officer shall not be required to make a personal written report of the incident.

    (c) The owner and the operator of a motor vehicle covered by one or more policies of liability insurance shall notify any person injured by the motor vehicle, or the owner of any property damaged thereby, of the name and address of all liability insurance companies which may cover the incident, and the numbers of the policies. The notification shall be made to the injured person, or the owner of the damaged property, or both, not more than five days after the injury or damage. The information shall be given to the injured person and the owner of the damaged property at the last known address of each. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1977, No. 81, § 5, eff. April 27, 1977; 1979, No. 46, § 4, eff. April 26, 1979; 1979, No. 190 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 1987, No. 241 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2009, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 14.)

  • § 1130. Permitting unlicensed or impaired person to operate

    (a) No person shall employ another person as an operator of a motor vehicle knowing that the other person is not licensed as provided in this title.

    (b) No person shall permit a motor vehicle owned by him or her or under his or her control to be operated by another person if the person who owns or controls the vehicle knows that the other person has no legal right to operate the vehicle.

    (c)(1) No person who owns or is in control of a vehicle shall intentionally create a direct and immediate opportunity for another person to operate the motor vehicle if the person who owns or controls the vehicle has actual knowledge that the operator is:

    (A) under the influence of alcohol; or

    (B) under the influence of any other drug or under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug to a degree which renders the person incapable of driving safely.

    (2) This subsection shall not apply if the defendant was placed under duress or subjected to coercion by the other person at the time the defendant enabled the other person to operate the motor vehicle.

    (d)(1) A person who violates subsection (c) of this section shall be fined not more than $1,000.00 or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

    (2) If death or if serious bodily injury as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021(2) results to any person other than the operator from a violation of subsection (c) of this section, the person convicted of the violation shall be fined not more than $5,000.00 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. The provisions of this subdivision do not limit or restrict prosecutions for manslaughter. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 2011, No. 56, § 2; 2017, No. 83, § 161(4).)

  • § 1131. Warning signal

    The operator of a motor vehicle, whenever reasonably necessary to ensure safe operation, shall give an audible warning with the horn of his or her vehicle but shall not otherwise use the horn when upon a highway. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1132. Driving on sidewalk

    No person shall drive any motor vehicle on a sidewalk or on any area designated exclusively for pedestrian traffic, except while crossing a driveway. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the operation of an electric personal assistive mobility device, at a speed not to exceed eight miles per hour, on a sidewalk by a person who is at least 16 years of age or who has an ambulatory disability as defined in section 304a of this title. Nor shall the provisions of this section limit the authority of a municipality under the provisions of 24 V.S.A. § 2291(1), (4), and (5) to regulate the use and operation of these devices. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 2001, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 6.)

  • § 1133. Eluding a police officer

    (a) No operator of a motor vehicle shall fail to bring his or her vehicle to a stop when signaled to do so by an enforcement officer:

    (1) displaying insignia identifying him or her as such; or

    (2) operating a law enforcement vehicle sounding a siren and displaying a flashing blue or blue and white signal lamp.

    (b)(1) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be imprisoned for not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

    (2) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section while operating a vehicle in a negligent or grossly negligent manner in violation of section 1091 of this title shall be imprisoned for not more than five years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

    (3)(A) In the event that serious bodily injury to any person other than the operator is proximately caused by the operator's knowing violation of subsection (a) of this section, the operator shall be imprisoned for not more than 15 years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both.

    (B) If serious bodily injury to more than one person other than the operator is proximately caused by the operator's knowing violation of subsection (a) of this section, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each decedent or person injured.

    (4)(A) In the event that death to any person other than the operator is proximately caused by the operator's knowing violation of subsection (a) of this section, the operator shall be imprisoned for not less than one year nor more than 15 years or fined not more than $10,000.00, or both.

    (B) If death to more than one person other than the operator is proximately caused by the operator's knowing violation of subsection (a) of this section, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each decedent.

    (c) In a prosecution under this section, the operator may raise as an affirmative defense, to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, that the operator brought his or her vehicle to a stop in a manner, time, and distance that was reasonable under the circumstances.

    (d) A person convicted of violating this section shall be assessed a surcharge of $50.00, which shall be added to any fine or surcharge imposed by the court. The court shall collect and transfer the surcharge assessed under this subsection to be credited to the DUI Enforcement Fund. The collection procedures described in 13 V.S.A. § 5240 shall be utilized in the collection of this surcharge.

    (e) As used in this section:

    (1) "Operator" includes an operator who, after being signaled to stop under subsection (a) of this section, leaves the vehicle and attempts to elude the officer by other means.

    (2) "Serious bodily injury" has the meaning defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 26; 2003, No. 47, § 1; 2007, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2011, No. 42.)

  • § 1134. Motor vehicle operator; consumption or possession of alcohol

    (a) A person shall not consume alcoholic beverages while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway. As used in this section, "alcoholic beverages" shall have the same meaning as "alcohol" as defined in section 1200 of this title.

    (b) A person operating a motor vehicle on a public highway shall not possess any open container which contains alcoholic beverages in the passenger area of the motor vehicle.

    (c) As used in this section, "passenger area" shall mean the area designed to seat the operator and passengers while the motor vehicle is in operation and any area that is readily accessible to the operator or passengers while in their seating positions, including the glove compartment, unless the glove compartment is locked. In a motor vehicle that is not equipped with a trunk, the term shall exclude the area behind the last upright seat or any area not normally occupied by the operator or passengers.

    (d) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $500.00. A person who violates subsection (b) of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $25.00. A person adjudicated and assessed a civil penalty for an offense under subsection (a) of this section shall not be subject to a civil violation for the same actions under subsection (b) of this section. (Added 1981, No. 83; amended 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 2001, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 23, eff. June 21, 2002; 2013, No. 76, § 4; 2013, No. 75, § 22f; 2013, No. 76, § 5, eff. July 1, 2014; 2017, No. 83, § 151.)

  • § 1134a. Motor vehicle passenger; consumption or possession of alcohol

    (a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a passenger in a motor vehicle shall not consume alcoholic beverages or possess any open container which contains alcoholic beverages in the passenger area of any motor vehicle on a public highway. As used in this section, "alcoholic beverages" shall have the same meaning as "alcohol" as defined in section 1200 of this title.

    (b) As used in this section, "passenger area" shall mean the area designed to seat the operator and passengers while the motor vehicle is in operation and any area that is readily accessible to the operator or passengers while in their seating positions, including the glove compartment, unless the glove compartment is locked. In a motor vehicle that is not equipped with a trunk, the term shall exclude the area behind the last upright seat or any area not normally occupied by the operator or passengers.

    (c) A person, other than the operator, may possess an open container which contains alcoholic beverages in the passenger area of a motor vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of persons for compensation or in the living quarters of a motor home or trailer coach.

    (d) A person who violates this section shall be fined not more than $25.00. (Added 2001, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 24, eff. June 21, 2002; amended 2017, No. 83, § 152.)

  • § 1134b. Smoking in motor vehicle with child present

    (a) A person shall not possess a lighted tobacco product or use a tobacco substitute as defined in 7 V.S.A. § 1001 in a motor vehicle that is occupied by a child required to be properly restrained in a federally approved child passenger restraining system pursuant to subdivision 1258(a)(1) or (2) of this title.

    (b) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than $100.00. No points shall be assessed for a violation of this section. (Added 2013, No. 135 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; amended 2015, No. 108 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.)

  • § 1135. Trespass by motor vehicle

    (a) A person commits the offense of trespass by motor vehicle if the person, knowing that he or she is not privileged to do so:

    (1) operates a motor vehicle and obstructs a private driveway, barway, or gateway; or

    (2) operates a motor vehicle and travels over a private road which is so marked, or travels over other private lands; or

    (3) operates a motor vehicle on any land which is owned or held by the State:

    (A) that is not a place or trail specifically designated and marked by the Secretary of Natural Resources for use by motor vehicles; or

    (B) contrary to any rule governing the use of the place or trail.

    (b) A person who violates this section shall be fined not more than $100.00 for each offense or, if the violation results in damage to property, the person shall be fined not more than $175.00 for each offense.

    (c) As used in this section, "motor vehicle" does not include an all-terrain vehicle or snowmobile.

    (d) This section shall not apply to any highway open to the public. (Added 1989, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)


  • Subchapter 012: OPERATION OF BICYCLES, ELECTRIC PERSONAL ASSISTIVE MOBILITY DEVICES, AND PLAY VEHICLES
  • § 1136. Application of subchapter; rights and obligations of bicyclists under other laws

    (a) The parent of any child and the guardian of any ward may not authorize or knowingly permit any such child or ward to violate any of the provisions of this subchapter.

    (b) This subchapter applies whenever a bicycle is operated upon any highway or upon any path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles subject to those exceptions stated herein.

    (c) Every person riding a bicycle is granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to operators of vehicles, except as to those provisions that:

    (1) are inconsistent with provisions that specifically address the rights and duties of vulnerable users generally or bicyclists specifically; or

    (2) by their very nature can have no application.

    (d)(1) Except as provided in this subsection, motor-assisted bicycles shall be governed as bicycles under Vermont law, and operators of motor-assisted bicycles shall be subject to all of the rights and duties applicable to bicyclists under Vermont law. Motor-assisted bicycles and their operators shall be exempt from motor vehicle registration and inspection and operator's license requirements. A person shall not operate a motor-assisted bicycle on a sidewalk in Vermont.

    (2) A person under 16 years of age shall not operate a motor-assisted bicycle on a highway in Vermont.

    (3) Nothing in this subsection shall interfere with the right of municipalities to regulate the operation and use of motor-assisted bicycles pursuant to 24 V.S.A. § 2291(1) and (4), as long as the regulations do not conflict with this subsection. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 44, 57.)

  • § 1137. Riding on bicycles

    (a) No person propelling a bicycle may ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.

    (b) No person may use a bicycle to carry more persons at any one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1138. Clinging to motor vehicles

    No person may attach himself or herself or any bicycle, wagon, roller skates, sled, or toy vehicle upon which he or she is riding or will ride to any motor vehicle. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1139. Riding on roadways and bicycle paths

    (a) A person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall exercise due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction. Bicyclists generally shall ride as near to the right side of the improved area of the highway right-of-way as is safe, except that a bicyclist:

    (1) Shall ride to the left or in a left lane when:

    (A) preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private roadway or driveway;

    (B) approaching an intersection with a right-turn lane if not turning right at the intersection; or

    (C) overtaking another vulnerable user.

    (2) May ride to the left or in a left lane when taking reasonably necessary precautions to avoid hazards or road conditions. Examples include objects on the road, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, surface conditions that may impair the bicyclist's stability, or safety hazards caused by a narrow road or steep embankment, road geometry, or unfavorable atmospheric conditions.

    (b) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway may not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or except as otherwise permitted by the Commissioner of Public Safety in connection with a public sporting event in which case the Commissioner shall be authorized to adopt such rules as the public good requires. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic and, on a laned roadway, shall ride within a single lane.

    (c) [Repealed.]

    (d) Bicycles may be operated on the shoulders of partially controlled access highways, which are those highways where access is controlled by public authority but where there are some connections with selected public highways, some crossings at grade, and some private driveway connections. The Traffic Committee may determine that any portion of these highways is unsafe and therefore closed to bicycle operation. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1989, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 12, 1990; 1991, No. 175 (Adj. Sess.), § 22, eff. April 1, 1993; 1993, No. 8, § 1; 1999, No. 18, § 41u, eff. May 13, 1999; 2003, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 38, eff. June 9, 2004; 2009, No. 114 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 44.)

  • § 1140. Carrying articles

    No person operating a bicycle may carry any package, bundle, or article which prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)

  • § 1141. Equipment on bicycles

    (a) A person shall not operate a bicycle at nighttime from one-half hour after sunset until one-half hour before sunrise unless the bicycle or the bicyclist is equipped with a lamp on the front which emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front. In addition, bicyclists shall operate during these hours with either a lamp on the rear of the bicycle or bicyclist which emits a flashing or steady red light visible at least 300 feet to the rear, or with reflective, rear-facing material or reflectors, or both, with a surface area totaling at least 20 square inches on the bicycle or bicyclist and visible at least 300 feet to the rear.

    (b) No person may equip a bicycle with any siren or whistle, or any device simulating a siren of an authorized emergency vehicle, nor may he or she operate a bicycle so equipped.

    (c) No person may operate a bicycle unless it is equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1979, No. 22; 2009, No. 114 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.)

  • § 1141a. Electric personal assistive mobility devices (EPAMD); required equipment; operation

    (a) Equipment. An electric personal assistive mobility device shall be equipped as follows:

    (1) with front, rear, and side reflectors; and

    (2) with a system that will enable the operator to bring the device to a controlled stop; and

    (3) if the device is operated between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise, with a lamp emitting a white light which, while the device is in motion, shall illuminate the area in front of the operator.

    (b) Rights and duties of operator. The operator of an EPAMD shall have the rights and duties of pedestrians as set forth in subchapter 5 of chapter 13 of this title.

    (c) Hazardous materials. No person shall carry or transport on an EPAMD, any hazardous materials as defined in 5 V.S.A. § 2001. Fines imposed for violations of this subsection shall be in accordance with fines imposed for violations of 5 V.S.A. § 2001.

    (d) Nothing in this section shall limit the authority of a municipality under the provisions of 24 V.S.A. § 2291(1), (4), and (5) to regulate the use and operation of EPAMDs. (Added 2001, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 8.)

  • § 1142. Penalties

    A person who violates any provision of sections 1136 through 1141 and subsection 1141a(a) of this title shall be fined not more than $25.00 for each offense, except that a person who violates subsection 1139(b) of this title shall be fined not more than $100.00. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 2001, No. 91 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 44.)

  • § 1143. Not evidence of negligence

    A violation of any provision of sections 1136 through 1141 of this title by any person under 16 years of age is not negligence or evidence of negligence. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973.)


  • Subchapter 013: DRUNKEN DRIVING
  • §§ 1181, 1182. Repealed. 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 20, eff. March 1, 1973.

  • §§ 1183-1195. Repealed. 1969, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 11.

  • § 1200. Definitions

    As used in this subchapter:

    (1) "Alcohol concentration" means

    (A) the number of grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; or

    (B) the number of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

    (2) "Drug" means:

    (A) a regulated drug as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 4201;  or

    (B) any substance or combination of substances, other than alcohol, which affects the nervous system, brain, or muscles of a person so as to impair, noticeably and appreciably, a person's ability to drive a vehicle safely.

    (3) "Evidentiary test" means a breath or blood test which indicates the person's alcohol concentration or the presence of other drug and which is intended to be introduced as evidence.

    (4) "Alcohol" includes alcohol, malt beverages, spirits, fortified wines, and vinous beverages, as defined in 7 V.S.A. § 2, and any beverage or liquid containing any of them.

    (5) "Law enforcement officer" means a law enforcement officer who has been certified by the Criminal Justice Training Council pursuant to 20 V.S.A. § 2358.

    (6) "Vehicle" means a motor vehicle as defined in section 4 of this title, and when on a public highway:

    (A) a snowmobile as defined in section 3201 of this title; and

    (B) an all-terrain vehicle as defined in section 3501 of this title.

    (7) "Highway" has the same meaning as in subdivision 4(13) of this title, except that for purposes of this subchapter, "highway" does not include the driveway which serves only a single-family or two-family residence of the operator. This exception shall not apply if a person causes the death of a person, causes bodily injury to a person, or causes damage to the personal property of another person, while operating a motor vehicle on a driveway in violation of section 1201 of this subchapter.

    (8) "Ignition interlock device" means a device that is capable of measuring a person's alcohol concentration and that prevents a motor vehicle from being started by a person whose alcohol concentration is 0.02 or greater.

    (9)(A) "Ignition interlock restricted driver's license" or "ignition interlock RDL" or "RDL" means a restricted license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle issued by the Commissioner allowing a resident whose license or privilege to operate has been suspended or revoked for operating under the influence of alcohol or in excess of legal limits of alcohol concentration, or for refusing an enforcement officer's reasonable request for an evidentiary test, to operate a motor vehicle, other than a commercial motor vehicle as defined in section 4103 of this title, installed with an approved ignition interlock device.

    (B) "Ignition interlock certificate" means a restricted privilege to operate a motor vehicle issued by the Commissioner allowing a nonresident whose privilege to operate a motor vehicle in Vermont has been suspended or revoked for operating under the influence of alcohol or in excess of legal limits of alcohol concentration, or for refusing an enforcement officer's reasonable request for an evidentiary test, to operate a motor vehicle, other than a commercial motor vehicle as defined in section 4103 of this title, installed with an approved ignition interlock device.

    (10) "Random retest" means a test of a vehicle operator's blood alcohol concentration, other than a test required to start the vehicle, that is required at random intervals during operation of a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device. (Added 1989, No. 68, § 1, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; amended, 1991, No. 55, § 1; 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 10, 11; 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. April 29, 1998; 1999, No. 20, § 1; 2007, 1999, No. 170 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2009, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. July 1, 2011; 2011, No. 90 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 45; 2017, No. 83, § 153.)

  • § 1201. Operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other substance; criminal refusal; enhanced penalty for BAC of 0.16 or more

    (a) A person shall not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of any vehicle on a highway:

    (1) when the person's alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more, or 0.02 or more if the person is operating a school bus as defined in subdivision 4(34) of this title; or

    (2) when the person is under the influence of alcohol; or

    (3) when the person is under the influence of any other drug or under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug; or

    (4) when the person's alcohol concentration is 0.04 or more if the person is operating a commercial motor vehicle as defined in subdivision 4103(4) of this title.

    (b) A person who has previously been convicted of a violation of this section shall not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of any vehicle on a highway and refuse a law enforcement officer's reasonable request under the circumstances for an evidentiary test where the officer had reasonable grounds to believe the person was in violation of subsection (a) of this section.

    (c) A person shall not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of any vehicle on a highway and be involved in an accident or collision resulting in serious bodily injury or death to another and refuse a law enforcement officer's reasonable request under the circumstances for an evidentiary test where the officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person has any amount of alcohol in the system.

    (d)(1) A person who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section when the person's alcohol concentration is proven to be 0.16 or more shall not, for three years from the date of the conviction for which the person's alcohol concentration is 0.16 or more, operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of any vehicle on a highway when the person's alcohol concentration is 0.02 or more. The prohibition imposed by this subsection shall be in addition to any other penalties imposed by law.

    (2) A person shall not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of any vehicle on a highway when the person's alcohol concentration is 0.02 or more if the person has previously been convicted of a second or subsequent violation of subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section within the preceding three years and the person's alcohol concentration for the second or subsequent violation was proven to be 0.16 or greater. A violation of this subsection shall be considered a third or subsequent violation of this section and shall be subject to the penalties of subsection 1210(d) of this title.

    (e) The fact that a person charged with a violation of this section is or has been entitled to use a drug under the laws of this State shall not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this section.

    (f) A person may not be convicted of more than one violation of subsection (a) of this section arising out of the same incident.

    (g) For purposes of this section and section 1205 of this title, the defendant may assert as an affirmative defense that the person was not operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of the vehicle because the person:

    (1) had no intention of placing the vehicle in motion; and

    (2) had not placed the vehicle in motion while under the influence.

    (h) As used in subdivision (a)(3) of this section, "under the influence of a drug" means that a person's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely is diminished or impaired in the slightest degree. This subsection shall not be construed to affect the meaning of the term "under the influence of alcohol."  (Added 1969, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1973, No. 16, § 1, eff. March 1, 1973; 1973, No. 79, § 1, eff. May 23, 1973; 1975, No. 10, § 2, eff. April 9, 1975; 1981, No. 103, §§ 2, 2a; 1983, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1989, No. 68, § 2, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; 1991, No. 55, § 2; 1997, No. 56, § 1, eff. Aug. 1, 1997; 1999, No. 116 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1999, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; 2001, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2005, No. 37, § 1; 2007, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2011, No. 56, § 3; 2013, No. 169 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. June 3, 2014; 2017, No. 83, § 161(4).)

  • § 1201c. Calculation of suspensions, and revocations

    Notwithstanding any direction or order from any person or entity to the contrary, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall calculate, in accordance with applicable statutes and rules, the duration of suspensions, whether and when revocations, suspensions, and reinstatements shall occur, and all other required actions and calculations. (Added 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 13.)

  • § 1202. Consent to taking of tests to determine blood alcohol content or presence of other drug

    (a)(1) Implied consent. Every person who operates, attempts to operate, or is in actual physical control of any vehicle on a highway in this State is deemed to have given consent to an evidentiary test of that person's breath for the purpose of determining the person's alcohol concentration or the presence of other drug in the blood. The test shall be administered at the direction of a law enforcement officer.

    (2) Blood test. If breath testing equipment is not reasonably available or if the officer has reason to believe that the person is unable to give a sufficient sample of breath for testing or if the law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is under the influence of a drug other than alcohol, the person is deemed to have given consent to the taking of an evidentiary sample of blood. If in the officer's opinion the person is incapable of decision or unconscious or dead, it is deemed that the person's consent is given and a sample of blood shall be taken. A blood test sought pursuant to this subdivision (2) shall be obtained pursuant to subsection (f) of this section.

    (3) Evidentiary test. The evidentiary test shall be required of a person when a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person was operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of a vehicle in violation of section 1201 of this title.

    (4) Fatal collision or incident resulting in serious bodily injury. The evidentiary test shall also be required if the person is the surviving operator of a motor vehicle involved in a fatal incident or collision or an incident or collision resulting in serious bodily injury and the law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person has any amount of alcohol or other drug in his or her system.

    (b) A refusal to take a breath test may be introduced as evidence in a criminal proceeding.

    (c) A person who is requested by a law enforcement officer to submit to an evidentiary test or tests has a right as herein limited to consult an attorney before deciding whether or not to submit to such a test or tests. The person must decide whether or not to submit to the evidentiary test or tests within a reasonable time and no later than 30 minutes from the time of the initial attempt to contact the attorney. The person must make a decision about whether or not to submit to the test or tests at the expiration of the 30 minutes regardless of whether a consultation took place.

    (d) At the time a test is requested, the person shall be informed of the following statutory information:

    (1) Vermont law authorizes a law enforcement officer to request a test to determine whether the person is under the influence of alcohol or other drug.

    (2) If the officer's request is reasonable and testing is refused, the person's license or privilege to operate will be suspended for at least six months.

    (3) If a test is taken and the results indicate that the person is under the influence of alcohol or other drug, the person will be subject to criminal charges and the person's license or privilege to operate will be suspended for at least 90 days.

    (4) A person who is requested by a law enforcement officer to submit to an evidentiary test or tests has the limited right to consult an attorney before deciding whether or not to submit to such a test or tests. The person must decide whether or not to submit to the evidentiary test or tests within a reasonable time and no later than 30 minutes from the time of the initial attempt to contact the attorney, regardless of whether a consultation took place. The person also has the right to have additional tests made by someone of the person's own choosing at the person's own expense. The person shall also be informed of the location of one or more facilities available for drawing blood.

    (5) A person who is requested by a law enforcement officer to submit to an evidentiary test administered with an infrared breath-testing instrument may elect to have a second infrared test administered immediately after receiving the results of the first test.

    (6) If the person refuses to take an evidentiary test, the refusal may be offered into evidence against the person at trial, whether or not a search warrant is sought. The person may be charged with the crime of criminal refusal if the person:

    (A) has previously been convicted of a violation of section 1201 of this title; or

    (B) is involved in an accident or collision resulting in serious bodily injury or death to another, in which case the court may issue a search warrant and order the person to submit to a blood test, the results of which may be offered into evidence against the person at trial.

    (e) In any proceeding under this subchapter, a law enforcement officer's testimony that he or she is certified pursuant to section 20 V.S.A. § 2358 shall be prima facie evidence of that fact.

    (f) If a blood test is sought from a person pursuant to subdivision (a)(2) of this section, or if a person who has been involved in an accident or collision resulting in serious bodily injury or death to another refuses an evidentiary test, a law enforcement officer may apply for a search warrant pursuant to Rule 41 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure to obtain a sample of blood for an evidentiary test. If a blood sample is obtained by search warrant, the fact of the refusal may still be introduced in evidence, in addition to the results of the evidentiary test. Once a law enforcement official begins the application process for a search warrant, the law enforcement official is not obligated to discontinue the process even if the person later agrees to provide an evidentiary breath sample. The limitation created by Rule 41(g) of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure regarding blood specimens shall not apply to search warrants authorized by this section.

    (g) The Defender General shall provide statewide 24-hour coverage seven days a week to assure that adequate legal services are available to persons entitled to consult an attorney under this section. (Added 1969, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1973, No. 79, § 2, eff. May 23, 1973; 1977, No. 96, eff. May 5, 1977; 1981, No. 103, § 3; 1985, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1989, No. 68, § 3, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; 1991, No. 55, § 3; 1991, No. 57, § 2, eff. July 4, 1991; 1997, No. 56, §§ 2, 3, eff. Aug. 1, 1997; 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 14; 1999, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 16; 2001, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2017, No. 62, § 9.)

  • § 1203. Administration of tests; retention of test and videotape

    (a) A breath test shall be administered only by a person who has been certified by the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council to operate the breath testing equipment being employed. In any proceeding under this subchapter, a person's testimony that he or she is certified to operate the breath testing equipment employed shall be prima facie evidence of that fact.

    (b) Only a physician, licensed nurse, medical technician, physician assistant, medical technologist, or laboratory assistant acting at the request of a law enforcement officer may withdraw blood for the purpose of determining the presence of alcohol or other drug. This limitation does not apply to the taking of a breath sample.

    (c) When a breath test which is intended to be introduced in evidence is taken with a crimper device or when blood is withdrawn at an officer's request, a sufficient amount of breath or blood, as the case may be, shall be taken to enable the person to have made an independent analysis of the sample, and shall be held for at least 45 days from the date the sample was taken. At any time during that period the person may direct that the sample be sent to an independent laboratory of the person's choosing for an independent analysis. The Department of Public Safety shall adopt rules providing for the security of the sample. At no time shall the defendant or any agent of the defendant have access to the sample. A preserved sample of breath shall not be required when an infrared breath-testing instrument is used. A person tested with an infrared breath-testing instrument shall have the option of having a second infrared test administered immediately after receiving the results of the first test.

    (d) In the case of a breath test administered using an infrared breath testing instrument, the test shall be analyzed in compliance with rules adopted by the Department of Public Safety. The analyses shall be retained by the State. A sample is adequate if the infrared breath testing instrument analyzes the sample and does not indicate the sample is deficient. Analysis of the person's breath or blood which is available to that person for independent analysis shall be considered valid when performed according to methods approved by the Department of Public Safety. The analysis performed by the State shall be considered valid when performed according to a method or methods selected by the Department of Public Safety. The Department of Public Safety shall use rule making procedures to select its method or methods. Failure of a person to provide an adequate breath sample constitutes a refusal.

    (e) [Repealed.]

    (f) When a law enforcement officer has reason to believe that a person may be violating or has violated section 1201 of this title, the officer may request the person to provide a sample of breath for a preliminary screening test using a device approved by the Commissioner of Public Safety for this purpose. The person shall not have the right to consult an attorney prior to submitting to this preliminary breath alcohol screening test. The results of this preliminary screening test may be used for the purpose of deciding whether an arrest should be made and whether to request an evidentiary test and shall not be used in any court proceeding except on those issues. Following the screening test additional tests may be required of the operator pursuant to the provisions of section 1202 of this title.

    (g) The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner shall report in writing to the Department of Motor Vehicles the death of any person as the result of an accident involving a vehicle and the circumstances of such accident within five days of such death.

    (h) A Vermont law enforcement officer shall have a right to request a breath or blood sample in an adjoining state or country under this section unless prohibited by the law of the other state or country. If the law in an adjoining state or country does not prohibit an officer acting under this section from taking a breath or blood sample in its jurisdiction, evidence of such sample shall not be excluded in the courts of this State solely on the basis that the test was taken outside the State.

    (i) The Commissioner of Public Safety shall adopt emergency rules relating to the operation, maintenance, and use of preliminary alcohol screening devices for use by law enforcement officers in enforcing the provisions of this title. The commissioner shall consider relevant standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in adopting such rules. Any preliminary alcohol screening device authorized for use under this title shall be on the qualified products list of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    (j) A videotape made of the alleged offense and subsequent processing may be erased or destroyed by the law enforcement agency no earlier than 90 days after final judgment, or, if no civil or criminal action is filed, no earlier than 90 days after the date the videotape was made.

    (k) A copy of a videotape made of the alleged offense shall be provided to the defendant within ten days after the defendant requests the copy and pays a $45.00 fee for its reproduction. No fee shall be charged to a defendant whom the court has determined to be indigent. (Added 1969, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; amended 1971, No. 14, § 8, eff. March 11, 1971; 1971, No. 260 (Adj. Sess.), § 48; 1973, No. 79, § 3, eff. May 23, 1973; 1975, No. 103, § 1, eff. May 30, 1975; 1981, No. 103, § 4; 1989, No. 68, § 4, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; 1991, No. 55, § 4; 1991, No. 57, §§ 1, 4, eff. July 4, 1991; 1997, No. 57, § 2; 1999, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 17, eff. May 29, 2000; 2007, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2011, No. 56, § 14, eff. March 1, 2012.)

  • § 1203a. Independent chemical test; blood tests

    (a) A person tested has the right at the person's own expense to have someone of the person's own choosing administer a chemical test or tests in addition to any administered at the direction of the law enforcement officer under section 1203 of this title. The failure or inability to obtain an additional test or tests by a person shall not preclude the admission in evidence of the test taken at the direction of an enforcement officer unless the additional test was prevented or denied by the enforcement officer.

    (b) Arrangements for a blood test shall be made by the person submitting to the evidentiary breath test, by the person's attorney, or by some other person acting on the person's behalf unless the person is detained in custody after administration of the evidentiary test and upon completion of processing, in which case the law enforcement officer having custody of the person shall make arrangements for administration of the blood test upon demand but at the person's own expense.

    (c) If after reasonable efforts the person is unable to arrange transportation necessary to obtain the blood test upon completion of processing, the law enforcement officer shall provide or arrange transportation to a facility available to administer the test unless, for good cause, the officer is unable to do so. This subsection shall only apply if the person was tested with an infrared testing device.

    (d) The physician, licensed nurse, medical technician, physician assistant, medical technologist, or laboratory assistant drawing a sample of blood shall use a sample collection kit provided by the Department of Public Safety or another type of collection kit. The sample shall be identified as to donor, date, and time, sealed and mailed to the Department of Public Safety where it shall be held for a period of at least 45 days from the date the sample was taken. At any time during that period, the person may direct that the sample be sent to an independent laboratory of the person's choosing for an independent analysis. The Department of Public Safety may recover its costs of supplies, handling, and storage.

    (e) The person requesting the sample is responsible for the costs of transportation, drawing the sample, and subsequent analysis. If the facility where the sample is drawn is unable to obtain payment from the person at the time the sample is drawn or within a reasonable time thereafter, the facility shall be entitled to reimbursement from the Office of the Defender General. The Office of the Defender General may recoup those costs and the court may impose conditions of release or probation for that purpose.

    (f) The facility, physician, licensed nurse, medical technician, physician assistant, medical technologist, or laboratory assistant drawing blood shall in no manner be liable in any civil or criminal action except for negligence in drawing the blood. (Added 1991, No. 57, § 3, eff. July 4, 1991; amended 2011, No. 56, § 15, eff. March 1, 2012; 2013, No. 34, § 30a.)

  • § 1203b. Duty to report blood test results

    (a) Notwithstanding any law or court rule to the contrary, if a health care provider who is providing health services to a person in the emergency room of a health care facility as a result of a motor vehicle accident becomes aware as a result of any blood test performed in the health care facility that the person's blood alcohol level meets or exceeds the level prohibited by law, the health care provider shall report that fact, as soon as is reasonably possible, to a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the location where the accident occurred.

    (b) Any person who in good faith reports the results of a blood test pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability which might otherwise be incurred or imposed as a result of making a report.

    (c) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $500.00.

    (d) A report made under this section, the fact that a report was made, and the results of the blood test which required the report shall not be admissible in any criminal case without the consent of the person whose blood was tested.

    (e) A report made under the provisions of this section shall not be considered a waiver of the patient's privilege.

    (f) As used in this section:

    (1) "Health care facility" shall be defined as provided in 18 V.S.A. § 9432(8).

    (2) "Health care provider" shall be defined as provided in 18 V.S.A. § 9432(9).

    (3) "Health services" shall be defined as provided in 18 V.S.A. § 9432(10).

    (g) Health care facilities have a responsibility to ensure that all health care providers who work in the health care facility and may provide health care to a person injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident are aware of their responsibilities under this section. Every health care facility that provides health care to persons injured as a result of motor vehicle accidents shall:

    (1) adopt a policy that implements this section;

    (2) provide a copy of the policy to all health care providers who work in the health care facility who may provide health care to a person as a result of a motor vehicle accident; and

    (3) conduct an educational and training program within one month of the effective date of this section for all such health care providers currently working at the facility and, for all such health care providers hired thereafter, within one month of their employment. (Added 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 15.)

  • § 1204. Permissive inferences

    (a) Upon the trial of any civil or criminal action or proceeding arising out of acts alleged to have been committed by a person while operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of a vehicle on a highway, the person's alcohol concentration shall give rise to the following permissive inferences:

    (1) If the person's alcohol concentration at that time was less than 0.08, such fact shall not give rise to any presumption or permissive inference that the person was or was not under the influence of alcohol, but such fact may be considered with other competent evidence in determining whether the person was under the influence of alcohol.

    (2) If the person's alcohol concentration at that time was 0.08 or more, it shall be a permissive inference that the person was under the influence of alcohol in violation of subdivision 1201(a)(2) or (3) of this title.

    (3) If the person's alcohol concentration at any time within two hours of the alleged offense was 0.10 or more, it shall be a permissive inference that the person was under the influence of alcohol in violation of subdivision 1201(a)(2) or (3) of this title.

    (b) The foregoing provisions shall not be construed as limiting the introduction of any other competent evidence bearing upon the question whether the person was under the influence of alcohol, nor shall they be construed as requiring that evidence of the amount of alcohol in the person's blood, breath, urine, or saliva must be presented. (Added 1969, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 1973, No. 79, § 4, eff. May 23, 1973; 1981, No. 103, § 5; 1987, No. 244 (Adj. Sess.); 1991, No. 55, § 5; 2017, No. 83, § 161(4).)

  • § 1205. Civil suspension; summary procedure

    (a) Refusal; alcohol concentration above legal limits; suspension periods.

    (1) Upon affidavit of a law enforcement officer that the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the person was operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of a vehicle in violation of section 1201 of this title and that the person refused to submit to a test, the Commissioner shall suspend the person's operating license or nonresident operating privilege or the privilege of an unlicensed operator to operate a vehicle for a period of six months and until the person complies with section 1209a of this title. However, during the suspension, an eligible person may operate under the terms of an ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate issued pursuant to section 1213 of this title.

    (2) Upon affidavit of a law enforcement officer that the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the person was operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of a vehicle in violation of section 1201 of this title and that the person submitted to a test and the test results indicated that the person's alcohol concentration was above a limit specified in subsection 1201(a) of this title, at the time of operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control, the Commissioner shall suspend the person's operating license or nonresident operating privilege or the privilege of an unlicensed operator to operate a vehicle for a period of 90 days and until the person complies with section 1209a of this title. However, during the suspension, an eligible person may operate under the terms of an ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate issued pursuant to section 1213 of this title.

    (3) Upon affidavit of a law enforcement officer that the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the person was operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of a vehicle in violation of subdivision 1201(d)(2) of this title and that the person submitted to a test and the test results indicated that the person's alcohol concentration was 0.02 or more at the time of operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control, the Commissioner shall suspend the person's operating license or nonresident operating privilege or the privilege of an unlicensed operator to operate a vehicle for life. However, during the suspension, an eligible person may operate under the terms of an ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate issued under section 1213 of this title.

    (b) Form of officer's affidavit. A law enforcement officer's affidavit in support of a suspension under this section shall be in a standardized form for use throughout the State and shall be sufficient if it contains the following statements:

    (1) The officer is a certified law enforcement officer.

    (2) The officer who administered the test was certified to operate the testing equipment.

    (3) The officer had reasonable grounds to believe the person was operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of a vehicle in violation of section 1201 of this title (noting the time and date of operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control).

    (4) The officer informed the person of his or her rights under subsection 1202(d) of this title.

    (5) The officer obtained an evidentiary test (noting the time and date the test was taken) and the test indicated that the person's alcohol concentration was above a legal limit specified in subsection 1201(a) or (d) of this title, or the person refused to submit to an evidentiary test.

    (6) The officer complied with the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act (50 U.S.C. § 501 et seq.).

    (7) The officer confirmed the person's correct mailing address.

    (c) Notice of suspension. On behalf of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, a law enforcement officer requesting or directing the administration of an evidentiary test shall serve notice of intention to suspend and of suspension on a person who refuses to submit to an evidentiary test or on a person who submits to a test the results of which indicate that the person's alcohol concentration was above a legal limit specified in subsection 1201(a) or (d) of this title, at the time of operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control of a vehicle in violation of section 1201 of this title. The notice shall be signed by the law enforcement officer requesting the test. A copy of the notice shall be sent to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, and a copy shall be mailed or given to the defendant within three business days of the date the officer receives the results of the test. If mailed, the notice is deemed received three days after mailing to the address provided by the defendant to the law enforcement officer. A copy of the affidavit of the law enforcement officer shall also be mailed first class mail or given to the defendant within seven days of the date of notice.

    (d) Form of notice. The notice of intention to suspend and of suspension shall be in a form prescribed by the Supreme Court. The notice shall include an explanation of rights, a form to be used to request a hearing, and, if a hearing is requested, the date, time, and location of the Criminal Division of the Superior Court where the person must appear for a preliminary hearing. The notice shall also contain, in boldface print, the following:

    (1) You have the right to ask for a hearing to contest the suspension of your operator's license.

    (2) This notice shall serve as a temporary operator's license and is valid until 12:01 a.m. of the date of suspension. If this is your first violation of section 1201 of this title and if you do not request a hearing, your license will be suspended as provided in this notice. If this is your second or subsequent violation of section 1201 of this title, your license will be suspended on the 11th day after you receive this notice. It is a crime to drive while your license is suspended unless you have been issued an ignition interlock restricted driver's license or ignition interlock certificate.

    (3) If you wish to request a hearing before the Criminal Division of the Superior Court, you must mail or deliver your request for a hearing within seven days after (date of notice).

    (4) If your request for a hearing is not mailed or delivered within seven days after (date of notice), you waive your right to a hearing and your license will be suspended as provided in this notice.

    (5) In order to request a hearing, sign the attached form and mail or deliver the form to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles at the address shown.

    (6) If you are charged with a second or subsequent violation of section 1201 of this title, no person shall sell, transfer, or encumber the title to a vehicle that may be subject to immobilization or forfeiture, unless approved by the court in which the charge is filed for good cause shown.

    (e) Effective date of suspension.

    (1) First offense. Unless a hearing is requested, a suspension under this section of the license of a person who the officer has reasonable grounds to believe violated section 1201 of this title a first time becomes effective on the 11th day after the person receives notice or is deemed to have received notice under subsection (c) of this section. If a hearing is requested, a suspension shall not become effective unless the court orders a suspension after hearing as provided in this section.

    (2) Second or subsequent offense. A suspension of a person's license under this section shall become effective on the 11th day after the person receives notice or is deemed to have received notice under subsection (c) of this section if:

    (A) the officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person has violated section 1201 of this title; and

    (B) after July 1, 1991, the person has:

    (i) had his or her operator's license suspended pursuant to this section; or

    (ii) been convicted of a violation of section 1201 of this title.

    (f) Review by Superior Court. Within seven days following receipt of a notice of intention to suspend and of suspension, a person may make a request for a hearing before the Superior Court by mailing or delivering the form provided with the notice. The request shall be mailed or delivered to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, who shall then notify the Criminal Division of the Superior Court that a hearing has been requested and provide the State's Attorney with a copy of the notice of intention to suspend and of suspension and the officer's affidavit.

    (g) Preliminary hearing. The preliminary hearing shall be held within 21 days of the alleged offense. Unless impracticable or continued for good cause shown, the date of the preliminary hearing shall be the same as the date of the first appearance in any criminal case resulting from the same incident for which the person received a citation to appear in court. The preliminary hearing shall be held in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Supreme Court.

    (h) Final hearing.

    (1) If the defendant requests a hearing on the merits, the court shall schedule a final hearing on the merits to be held within 21 days of the date of the preliminary hearing. In no event may a final hearing occur more than 42 days after the date of the alleged offense without the consent of the defendant or for good cause shown. The final hearing may only be continued by the consent of the defendant or for good cause shown. The issues at the final hearing shall be limited to the following:

    (A) Whether the law enforcement officer had reasonable grounds to believe the person was operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of a vehicle in violation of section 1201 of this title.

    (B) Whether at the time of the request for the evidentiary test the officer informed the person of the person's rights and the consequences of taking and refusing the test substantially as set out in subsection 1202(d) of this title.

    (C) Whether the person refused to permit the test.

    (D) Whether the test was taken and the test results indicated that the person's alcohol concentration was above a legal limit specified in subsection 1201(a) or (d) of this title, at the time of operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control of a vehicle in violation of section 1201 of this title, whether the testing methods used were valid and reliable, and whether the test results were accurate and accurately evaluated. Evidence that the test was taken and evaluated in compliance with rules adopted by the Department of Public Safety shall be prima facie evidence that the testing methods used were valid and reliable and that the test results are accurate and were accurately evaluated.

    (E) Whether the requirements of section 1202 of this title were complied with.

    (2) No less than seven days before the final hearing, and subject to the requirements of Vermont Rule of Civil Procedure 11, the defendant shall provide to the State and file with the court a list of the issues (limited to the issues set forth in this subsection) that the defendant intends to raise. Only evidence that is relevant to an issue listed by the defendant may be raised by the defendant at the final hearing. The defendant shall not be permitted to raise any other evidence at the final hearing, and all other evidence shall be inadmissible.

    (i) Finding by the court. The court shall electronically forward a report of the hearing to the Commissioner. Upon a finding by the court that the law enforcement officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the person was operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of a vehicle in violation of section 1201 of this title and that the person refused to submit to a test, or upon a finding by the court that the law enforcement officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the person was operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of a vehicle in violation of section 1201 of this title and that the person submitted to a test and the test results indicated that the person's alcohol concentration was above a legal limit specified in subsection 1201(a) or (d) of this title, at the time the person was operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control, the person's operating license, or nonresident operating privilege, or the privilege of an unlicensed operator to operate a vehicle shall be suspended or shall remain suspended for the required term and until the person complies with section 1209a of this title. Upon a finding in favor of the person, the Commissioner shall cause the suspension to be canceled and removed from the record, without payment of any fee.

    (j) Venue and conduct of hearings. Venue for proceedings under this section shall be in the territorial unit of the Superior Court where the offense is alleged to have occurred. Hearings under this section shall be summary proceedings conducted by the Criminal Division of the Superior Court without a jury and shall be subject to the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure only as consistent with this section. The State has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence. Affidavits of law enforcement officers, chemists of either party, or expert witnesses of either party shall be admissible evidence, which may be rebutted by witnesses called by either party. The affidavits shall be delivered to the other party at least five days prior to the hearing.

    (k) Appeal. A decision of the Criminal Division of the Superior Court under this section may be appealed as a matter of right to the Supreme Court. The suspension shall not be stayed pending appeal unless the defendant is reasonably likely to prevail on appeal.

    (l) Access to information. In connection with a proceeding under this section, the operator shall have access to all written statements and information in the possession and control of the State concerning the evidentiary test or tests, including the police report, processing forms, certification and affidavit, breath test results, police notes, and the names and addresses of witnesses. If the operator intends to rely on the independent analysis, the State shall have access to the test results from the independent analysis and names and addresses of all witnesses. No depositions or written interrogatories shall be permitted except in extraordinary circumstances.

    (m) Second and subsequent suspensions. For a second suspension under this subchapter, the period of suspension shall be 18 months and until the person complies with section 1209a of this title. However, during the suspension, an eligible person may operate under the terms of an ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate issued pursuant to section 1213 of this title. For a third or subsequent suspension under this subchapter, the period of suspension shall be life. However, during this lifetime suspension, an eligible person may operate under the terms of an ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate issued under section 1213 of this title.

    (n) Presumption. In a proceeding under this section, if at any time within two hours of operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control of a vehicle a person had an alcohol concentration of above a legal limit specified in subsection 1201(a) or (d) of this title, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person's alcohol concentration was above the applicable limit at the time of operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control.

    (o) Use immunity. No testimony or other information presented by the defendant in connection with a proceeding under this section or any information directly or indirectly derived from such testimony or other information, may be used for any purpose, including impeachment and cross-examination, against the defendant in any criminal case, except a prosecution for perjury or giving a false statement.

    (p) Suspensions to run concurrently. Suspensions imposed under this section or any comparable statute of any other jurisdiction and sections 1206, 1208, and 1216 of this title or any comparable statutes of any other jurisdiction, or any suspension resulting from a conviction for a violation of section 1091 of this title from the same incident, shall run concurrently and a person shall receive credit for any elapsed period of a suspension served in Vermont against a later suspension imposed in this State.

    (q) Rules. The Supreme Court shall adopt rules ensuring the fairness of proceedings under this section.

    (r) A person suspended under this section for a refusal shall be assessed a surcharge of $50.00 which shall be collected by the Department of Motor Vehicles prior to reinstatement of the person's driving privileges. The Department shall transfer the surcharge assessed under this subsection to the Public Defender Special Fund created in 13 V.S.A. § 5239 specifying the source of the monies being deposited. All such monies shall be used by the Office of the Defender General to cover the cost of providing statewide 24-hour legal services coverage as required by subsection 1202(g) of this title. After $40,000.00 has been deposited in the Public Defender Special Fund in a single fiscal year, all additional collected surcharges assessed under this subsection in that fiscal year shall be credited to the Governor's Highway Safety Commission for deposit in a DUI Enforcement Special Fund established and managed pursuant to 32 V.S.A. chapter 7, subchapter 5. All such DUI Enforcement Special Fund receipts shall be used exclusively for statewide DUI enforcement and for no other purpose.

    (s) [Repealed.]

    (t) For a first offense, the time limits set forth in subsections (g) and (h) of this section are directive only, and shall not be interpreted by the court to be mandatory or jurisdictional.

    (u) In any proceeding under this section, for cause shown, a party's chemist may be allowed to testify by telephone in lieu of a personal appearance. (Added 1969, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; amended 1971, No. 14, § 9, eff. March 11, 1971; 1973, No. 79, § 5, eff. May 23, 1973; 1975, No. 103, § 2, eff. May 30, 1975; 1979, No. 58, § 1; 1981, No. 103, § 6; 1983, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 1989, No. 68, § 5, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; 1991, No. 55, § 6; 1995, No. 77 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. March 21, 1996; 1995, No. 112 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. April 22, 1996; 1997, No. 56, §§ 4, 7, eff. Aug. 1, 1997; 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 16; 1999, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 18, eff. May 29, 2000; 2001, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2009, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. July 1, 2011; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 160; 2011, No. 46, § 8, eff. July 2, 2011; 2011, No. 56, §§ 4, 16, eff. March 1, 2012; 2011, No. 90 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 2013, No. 57, § 19; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 49.)

  • § 1206. Suspension of license for driving while under influence; first conviction

    (a) First conviction-generally. Except as otherwise provided, upon conviction of a person for violating a provision of section 1201 of this title, or upon final determination of an appeal, the court shall forward the conviction report forthwith to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The Commissioner shall immediately suspend the person's operating license or nonresident operating privilege or the privilege of an unlicensed operator to operate a vehicle for a period of 90 days and until the defendant complies with section 1209a of this title.

    (b) Extended suspension-fatality or serious bodily injury. In cases resulting in a fatality or serious bodily injury to a person other than the defendant, the period of suspension shall be one year and until the defendant complies with section 1209a of this title.

    (c) During a suspension under this section, an eligible person may operate a motor vehicle under the terms of an ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate issued under section 1213 of this title. (Added 1969, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; amended 1973, No. 79, § 6, eff. May 23, 1973; 1975, No. 103, § 3, eff. May 30, 1975; 1979, No. 58, § 2; 1981, No. 103, § 7; 1983, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1999, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 19; 2009, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. July 1, 2011; 2011, No. 90 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 50.)

  • § 1207. Repealed. 1973, No. 79, § 9, eff. May 23, 1973.

  • § 1208. Suspensions for subsequent convictions

    (a) Second conviction. Upon a second conviction of a person violating a provision of section 1201 of this title and upon final determination of an appeal, the court shall forward the conviction report forthwith to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The Commissioner shall immediately suspend the person's operating license or nonresident operating privilege or the privilege of an unlicensed operator to operate a vehicle for 18 months and until the defendant complies with section 1209a of this title. However, during the suspension, an eligible person may operate under the terms of an ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate issued pursuant to section 1213 of this title.

    (b) Third conviction. Upon a third or subsequent conviction of a person violating a provision of section 1201 of this title and upon final determination of any appeal, the court shall forward the conviction report forthwith to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The Commissioner shall immediately revoke the person's operating license or nonresident operating privilege or the privilege of an unlicensed operator to operate a motor vehicle for life. However, during this lifetime revocation, an eligible person may operate under the terms of an ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate issued under section 1213 of this title. (Added 1969, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; amended 1973, No. 79, § 7, eff. May 23, 1973; 1975, No. 103, §§ 4, 5, eff. May 30, 1975; 1977, No. 101, § 2, eff. May 6, 1977; 1979, No. 58, § 3; 1981, No. 103, § 8; 1983, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 1989, No. 179 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. May 14, 1990; 1991, No. 55, § 7; 1997, No. 56, § 5, eff. Aug. 1, 1997; 2009, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. July 1, 2011; 2011, No. 90 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 51.)

  • § 1209. Repealed. 1973, No. 79, § 9, eff. May 23, 1973.

  • § 1209a. Conditions of reinstatement; alcohol and driving education; screening; therapy programs

    (a) Conditions of reinstatement. No license or privilege to operate suspended or revoked under this subchapter, except a license or privilege to operate suspended under section 1216 of this title, shall be reinstated except as follows:

    (1) In the case of a first suspension, a license or privilege to operate shall be reinstated only:

    (A) after the person has successfully completed the Alcohol and Driving Education Program, at the person's own expense, followed by an assessment of the need for further treatment by a State-designated counselor, at the person's own expense, to determine whether reinstatement should be further conditioned on satisfactory completion of a therapy program agreed to by the person and the Drinking Driver Rehabilitation Program Director;

    (B) if the screening indicates that therapy is needed, after the person has satisfactorily completed or shown substantial progress in completing a therapy program at the person's own expense agreed to by the person and the Driver Rehabilitation Program Director;

    (C) if the person elects to operate under an ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate, after the person operates under the RDL or certificate for the applicable period set forth in subsection 1205(a) or section 1206 of this title, plus any extension of this period arising from a violation of section 1213 of this title; and

    (D) if the person has no pending criminal charges, civil citations, or unpaid fines or penalties for a violation under this chapter.

    (2) In the case of a second suspension, a license or privilege to operate shall not be reinstated until:

    (A) the person has successfully completed an alcohol and driving rehabilitation program;

    (B) the person has completed or shown substantial progress in completing a therapy program at the person's own expense agreed to by the person and the Driver Rehabilitation Program Director;

    (C) after the person operates under an ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate for 18 months or, in the case of a person subject to the one-year hard suspension prescribed in subdivision 1213(a)(1)(C) of this title, for one year, plus any extension of the relevant period arising from a violation of section 1213 of this title, except if otherwise provided in subdivision (4) of this subsection (a); and

    (D) the person has no pending criminal charges, civil citations, or unpaid fines or penalties for a violation under this chapter.

    (3) In the case of a third or subsequent suspension or a revocation, a license or privilege to operate shall not be reinstated until:

    (A) the person has successfully completed an alcohol and driving rehabilitation program;

    (B) the person has completed or shown substantial progress in completing a therapy program at the person's own expense agreed to by the person and the Driver Rehabilitation Program Director;

    (C) the person has satisfied the requirements of subsection (b) of this section; and

    (D) the person has no pending criminal charges, civil citations, or unpaid fines or penalties for a violation under this chapter.

    (4) The Commissioner shall waive a requirement under subdivision (2) of this subsection or subsection (b) of this section that a person operate under an ignition interlock RDL or certificate prior to eligibility for reinstatement if:

    (A) the person furnishes sufficient proof as prescribed by the Commissioner that he or she is incapable of using an ignition interlock device because of a medical condition that will persist permanently or at least for the term of the suspension or, in the case of suspensions or revocations for life, for a period of at least three years; or

    (B) the underlying offenses arose solely from being under the influence of a drug other than alcohol.

    (b) Abstinence.

    (1)(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, a person whose license or privilege to operate has been suspended or revoked for life under this subchapter may apply to the Driver Rehabilitation School Director and to the Commissioner for reinstatement of his or her driving privilege. The person shall have completed three years of total abstinence from consumption of alcohol or nonprescription regulated drugs, or both. The use of a regulated drug in accordance with a valid prescription shall not disqualify an applicant for reinstatement of his or her driving privileges unless the applicant used the regulated drug in a manner inconsistent with the prescription label.

    (B) The beginning date for the period of abstinence shall be no sooner than the effective date of the suspension or revocation from which the person is requesting reinstatement and shall not include any period during which the person is serving a sentence of incarceration to include furlough. The application shall include the applicant's authorization for a urinalysis examination to be conducted prior to reinstatement under this subdivision. The application to the Commissioner shall be accompanied by a fee of $500.00. The Commissioner shall have the discretion to waive the application fee if the Commissioner determines that payment of the fee would present a hardship to the applicant.

    (2) If the Commissioner or a medical review board convened by the Commissioner is satisfied by a preponderance of the evidence that the applicant has abstained for the required number of years immediately preceding the application and hearing, has successfully completed a therapy program as required under this section, has operated under a valid ignition interlock RDL or under an ignition interlock certificate for at least three years following the suspension or revocation, and the person appreciates that he or she cannot drink any amount of alcohol and drive safely, the person's license or privilege to operate shall be reinstated immediately, subject to the condition that the person's suspension or revocation will be put back in effect in the event any further investigation reveals a return to the consumption of alcohol or drugs and to such additional conditions as the Commissioner may impose. The requirement to operate under an ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate shall not apply if the person is exempt under subdivision (a)(4) of this section.

    (3) If after notice and hearing the Commissioner later finds that the person was violating the conditions of the person's reinstatement under this subsection, the person's operating license or privilege to operate shall be immediately suspended or revoked for life.

    (4) If the Commissioner finds that a person reinstated under this subsection was suspended pursuant to section 1205 of this title, or was convicted of a violation of section 1201 of this title, the person shall be conclusively presumed to be in violation of the conditions of his or her reinstatement.

    (5) A person shall be eligible for reinstatement under this subsection only once following a suspension or revocation for life.

    (6)(A) If an applicant for reinstatement under this subsection resides in a jurisdiction other than Vermont, the Commissioner may elect not to conduct an investigation. If the Commissioner elects not to conduct an investigation, he or she shall provide a letter to the applicant's jurisdiction of residence stating that Vermont does not object to the jurisdiction issuing the applicant a license if the applicant is required to operate only vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device for at least a three-year period, unless exempt under subdivision (a)(4) of this section, and is required to complete any alcohol rehabilitation or treatment requirements of the licensing jurisdiction.

    (B) If the applicant's jurisdiction of residence is prepared to issue or has issued a license in accordance with subdivision (A) of this subdivision (6) and the applicant satisfies the requirements of section 675 of this title, the Commissioner shall update relevant State and federal databases to reflect that the applicant's lifetime suspension or revocation in Vermont under chapter 13, subchapter 13 of this title has terminated.

    (c) Screening and therapy programs. In the case of a second or subsequent suspension, the Commissioner shall notify the person that he or she is required to enroll in the alcohol and driving education screening and therapy program provided for in this section within 30 days of license suspension. If the person fails to enroll or fails to remain so enrolled until completion, the Drinking Driver Rehabilitation Program shall report such failure to the sentencing court. The court may order the person to appear and show cause why he or she failed to comply.

    (d) Judicial review. A person aggrieved by a decision of a designated counselor under this section may seek review of that decision pursuant to Rule 75 of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure.

    (e) Therapy program. A therapy program required under this section may include without limitation outpatient therapy, intensive outpatient therapy, and residential therapy. In the event that the individual and the Driver Rehabilitation Program Director cannot agree on the type of therapy required, the Criminal Division of the Superior Court shall make that determination.

    (f) Fees. The Department of Health's Drinking Driver Rehabilitation Program shall assess fees for the Alcohol and Driving Education Program and the alcohol assessment screening required by subdivision (a)(1)(A) of this section. The fee for the Alcohol and Driving Education Program shall not exceed $250.00. The fee for the alcohol assessment screening shall not exceed $200.00. In the case of a more intensive or weekend residential program combining both the Alcohol and Driving Education Program and the alcohol assessment screening, the total charge shall not exceed $625.00. Charges collected under this section shall be credited to separate special funds for each type of service and shall be available to the Department of Health to offset the cost of operating the Drinking Driver Rehabilitation Program. (Added 1981, No. 103, § 9; amended 1983, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 1985, No. 202 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1989, No. 68, § 6; 1989, No. 179 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. May 14, 1990; 1991, No. 55, § 8; 1997, No. 55, § 7, eff. June 26, 1997; 1997, No. 56, § 8, eff. Aug. 1, 1997; 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 17; 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 63; 1999, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; 2003, No. 109 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 2007, No. 76, § 16; 2009, No. 23, § 1; 2009, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. July 1, 2011; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238; 2011, No. 90 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2013, No. 189 (Adj. Sess.), § 17; 2015, No. 50, § 16; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 46; 2017, No. 71, § 14, eff. June 8, 2017.)

  • § 1210. Penalties

    (a) Screening. Before sentencing a defendant under this section, the Court may order that the defendant submit to an alcohol assessment screening. Such a screening report may be considered at sentencing in the same manner as a presentence report. At sentencing, the defendant may present relevant evidence, including the results of any independent alcohol assessment which was conducted at the person's own expense. Evidence regarding any such screening or an alcohol assessment performed at the expense of the defendant shall not be admissible for any other purpose without the defendant's consent.

    (b) First offense. A person who violates section 1201 of this title may be fined not more than $750.00, or imprisoned for not more than two years, or both.

    (c) Second offense. A person convicted of violating section 1201 of this title who has been convicted of another violation of that section shall be fined not more than $1,500.00 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. At least 200 hours of community service shall be performed, or 60 consecutive hours of the sentence of imprisonment shall be served and may not be suspended or deferred or served as a supervised sentence, except that credit for a sentence of imprisonment may be received for time served in a residential alcohol facility pursuant to sentence if the program is successfully completed.

    (d) Third offense. A person convicted of violating section 1201 of this title who has previously been convicted two times of a violation of that section shall be fined not more than $2,500.00 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. At least 96 consecutive hours of the sentence of imprisonment shall be served and may not be suspended or deferred or served as a supervised sentence, except that credit for a sentence of imprisonment may be received for time served in a residential alcohol facility pursuant to sentence if the program is successfully completed. The Court may impose a sentence that does not include a term of imprisonment or that does not require that the 96 hours of imprisonment be served consecutively only if the Court makes written findings on the record that such a sentence will serve the interests of justice and public safety.

    (e)(1) Fourth or subsequent offense. A person convicted of violating section 1201 of this title who has previously been convicted three or more times of a violation of that section shall be fined not more than $5,000.00 or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both. At least 192 consecutive hours of the sentence of imprisonment shall be served and may not be suspended or deferred or served as a supervised sentence, except that credit for a sentence of imprisonment may be received for time served in a residential alcohol treatment facility pursuant to sentence if the program is successfully completed. The Court shall not impose a sentence that does not include a term of imprisonment unless the Court makes written findings on the record that there are compelling reasons why such a sentence will serve the interests of justice and public safety.

    (2) The Department of Corrections shall provide alcohol and substance abuse treatment, when appropriate, to any person convicted of a violation of this subsection.

    (f)(1) Death resulting. If the death of any person results from a violation of section 1201 of this title, the person convicted of the violation shall be fined not more than $10,000.00 or imprisoned not less than one year nor more than 15 years, or both. The provisions of this subsection do not limit or restrict prosecutions for manslaughter.

    (2) If the death of more than one person results from a violation of section 1201 of this title, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each decedent.

    (3)(A) Death resulting; third or subsequent offense. If the death of any person results from a violation of section 1201 of this title and the person convicted of the violation previously has been convicted two or more times of a violation of that section, a sentence ordered pursuant to this subsection shall, except as provided in subdivision (B) of this subdivision (3), include at least a five-year term of imprisonment. The five-year minimum term of imprisonment required by this subdivision shall be served and may not be suspended, deferred, or served as a supervised sentence. The defendant shall not be eligible for probation, parole, furlough, or any other type of early release until the expiration of the five-year term of imprisonment.

    (B) Notwithstanding subdivision (A) of this subdivision (3), if the death of any person results from a violation of section 1201 of this title and the person convicted of the violation previously has been convicted two or more times of a violation of that section, the Court may impose a sentence that does not include a term of imprisonment or which includes a term of imprisonment of less than five years if the Court makes written findings on the record that such a sentence will serve the interests of justice and public safety.

    (g)(1) Injury resulting. If serious bodily injury, as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021(2), results to any person other than the operator from a violation of section 1201 of this title, the person convicted of the violation shall be fined not more than $5,000.00, or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.

    (2) If serious bodily injury as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021(2) results to more than one person other than the operator from a violation of section 1201 of this title, the operator may be convicted of a separate violation of this subdivision for each person injured.

    (3)(A) Injury resulting; third or subsequent offense. If serious bodily injury as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021(2) results to any person other than the operator from a violation of section 1201 of this title and the person convicted of the violation previously has been convicted two or more times of a violation of section 1201, a sentence ordered pursuant to this subsection shall, except as provided in subdivision (B) of this subdivision (3), include at least a five-year term of imprisonment. The five-year minimum term of imprisonment required by this subdivision shall be served and may not be suspended, deferred, or served as a supervised sentence. The defendant shall not be eligible for probation, parole, furlough, or any other type of early release until the expiration of the five-year term of imprisonment.

    (B) Notwithstanding subdivision (A) of this subdivision (3), if serious bodily injury as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 1021(2) results to any person other than the operator from a violation of section 1201 of this title and the person convicted of the violation previously has been convicted two or more times of a violation of section 1201, the Court may impose a sentence that does not include a term of imprisonment or which includes a term of imprisonment of less than five years if the Court makes written findings on the record that such a sentence will serve the interests of justice and public safety.

    (h) Determination of fines. In determining appropriate fines under this section, the Court may take into account the total cost to a defendant of alcohol screening, participation in the Alcohol and Driving Education Program and therapy, and the income of the defendant.

    (i) A person convicted of violating section 1201 of this title shall be assessed a surcharge of $60.00, which shall be added to any fine imposed by the Court. The Court shall collect and transfer such surcharge to the Department of Public Safety for deposit in the Blood and Breath Alcohol Testing Special Fund established by section 1220b of this title.

    (j) A person convicted of violating section 1201 of this title shall be assessed a surcharge of $50.00, which shall be added to any fine or surcharge imposed by the Court. The Court shall collect and transfer the surcharge assessed under this subsection to the Office of Defender General for deposit in the Public Defender Special Fund specifying the source of the monies being deposited. The collection procedures described in 13 V.S.A. § 5240 shall be utilized in the collection of this surcharge.

    (k) A person convicted of violating section 1201 of this title shall be assessed a surcharge of $50.00, which shall be added to any fine or surcharge imposed by the Court. The Court shall collect and transfer the surcharge assessed under this subsection to be credited to the DUI Enforcement Fund. The collection procedures described in 13 V.S.A. § 5240 shall be utilized in the collection of this surcharge. (Added 1969, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; amended 1973, No. 79, § 8, eff. May 23, 1973; 1975, No. 103, § 6, eff. May 30, 1975; 1977, No. 101, § 1, eff. May 6, 1977; 1981, No. 205 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1983, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1989, No. 68, § 7, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; 1991, No. 55, § 9; 1991, No. 234 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1993, No. 25, § 25, eff. May 18, 1993; 1995, No. 77 (Adj. Sess.), § 11, eff. March 21, 1996; 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 27; 1999, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 21; 2007, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2011, No. 56, § 5; 2011, No. 56, § 17, eff. March 1, 2012.)

  • § 1211. Construction of cross references

    For the purposes of computing offenses under this chapter, references to section 1201 of this title shall be construed to include sections of present or prior law of this or any other jurisdiction which prohibited operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle on a highway while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, or while having 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in the person's blood or an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. (Added 1981, No. 103, § 10; amended 1987, No. 62, § 6; 1991, No. 55, § 10; 2017, No. 83, § 161(4).)

  • § 1212. Conditions of release and parole; arrest upon violation

    (a) At the first appearance before a judicial officer of a person charged with violation of section 1201 of this title, the Court, upon a plea of not guilty, shall consider whether to establish conditions of release. Those conditions may include a requirement that the defendant not operate a motor vehicle if there is a likelihood that the defendant will operate a motor vehicle in violation of section 1201 or 1213 of this title. The Court may consider all relevant evidence, including whether the defendant has a motor vehicle or criminal record indicating prior convictions for one or more alcohol-related offenses. Prior convictions may be established for this purpose by a noncertified photocopy of a motor vehicle record, a computer printout, or an affidavit. Nothing in this section limits the authority of a judicial officer to impose other conditions of release, nor does it limit or modify other statutory provisions concerning license suspension or revocation or the right of a person to operate a motor vehicle.

    (b) A court which requires as a condition of release that a defendant not operate a motor vehicle shall so notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The Commissioner shall take suitable steps to assure that this information is available to law enforcement officers. The Court shall promptly advise the Commissioner of any modification of this condition of release and of the termination of proceedings.

    (c) A law enforcement officer who observes a person violating a condition of release requiring that he or she not operate a motor vehicle may promptly arrest the person for violating a condition of bail and shall bring the person before the nearest available judicial officer without unnecessary delay. A law enforcement officer who otherwise has probable cause to believe that a person has violated a condition of release requiring that he or she not operate a motor vehicle shall promptly notify a prosecuting officer.

    (d) A law enforcement officer who observes a person violating a condition of parole requiring that the person not operate a motor vehicle may promptly arrest the person for violating the condition and may detain the person pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 551. The officer may immobilize the vehicle and shall immediately notify the Parole Board of the suspected violation. If the Parole Board determines pursuant to 28 V.S.A. § 552 that a parole violation has occurred, the Board shall notify the State's Attorney in the county where the violation occurred, who may institute forfeiture proceedings against the vehicle under section 1213c of this title. (Added 1983, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2009, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. July 1, 2011; 2011, No. 56, § 11, eff. May 31, 2011.)

  • § 1213. Ignition interlock restricted driver's license or certificate; penalties

    (a)(1) A person whose license or privilege to operate is suspended or revoked under this subchapter may operate a motor vehicle, other than a commercial motor vehicle as defined in section 4103 of this title, if issued a valid ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate. Upon application, the Commissioner shall issue an ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate to a person otherwise licensed or eligible to be licensed to operate a motor vehicle if:

    (A) the person submits a $125.00 application fee;

    (B) the person submits satisfactory proof of installation of an approved ignition interlock device in any motor vehicle to be operated and of financial responsibility as provided in section 801 of this title;

    (C) at least one year has passed since the suspension or revocation was imposed if the offense involved death or serious bodily injury to a person other than the operator; and

    (D) the applicable period set forth below has passed since the suspension or revocation was imposed if the offense involved refusal of an enforcement officer's reasonable request for an evidentiary test:

    (i) 30 days for a first offense;

    (ii) 90 days for a second offense;

    (iii) one year for a third or subsequent offense.

    (2) A new ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate shall expire at midnight on the eve of the second birthday of the applicant following the date of issue, and may be renewed for one-year terms. The Commissioner shall send by first class mail an application for renewal of the RDL or certificate at least 30 days prior to the day renewal is required and shall impose the same conditions for renewal as are required for initial issuance. The renewal fee shall be $125.00.

    (b) [Repealed.]

    (c) [Repealed.]

    (d) If a fine is to be imposed for a conviction of a violation of section 1201 of this title, upon receipt of proof of installation of an approved ignition interlock device, the court may order that the fine of an indigent person conditionally be reduced by one-half to defray the costs of the ignition interlock device, subject to the person's ongoing operation under, and compliance with the terms of, a valid ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate as set forth in this section. In considering whether a person's fine should be reduced under this subsection, the court shall take into account any discount already provided by the device manufacturer or provider.

    (e) The holder of an ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate shall pay the costs of installing, purchasing or leasing, and removing the ignition interlock device as well as calibrating the device and retrieving data from it periodically as may be specified by the Commissioner.

    (f)(1) Prior to the issuance of an ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate under this section, the Commissioner shall notify the applicant that the period prior to eligibility for reinstatement may be extended under this subsection (f) or subsections (g)-(h) of this section.

    (2)(A) Prior to any such extension of the reinstatement period, the ignition interlock RDL or certificate holder shall be given notice and opportunity for a hearing. Service of the notice shall be sent by first class mail to the last known address of the person. The notice shall include a factual description of the grounds for an extension, a reference to the particular law allegedly violated, and a warning that the right to a hearing will be deemed waived, and an extension of the reinstatement period will be imposed, if a written request for a hearing is not received at the Department of Motor Vehicles within 15 days after the date of the notice.

    (B) When a holder receives a notice under subdivision (2)(A) of this subsection (f), the holder shall be deemed to have waived the right to a hearing, unless a written request for a hearing is received at the Department of Motor Vehicles within 15 days after the date of the notice. If a hearing is not timely requested, the reinstatement period shall be extended in accordance with law.

    (C) The provisions of sections 105-107 of this title shall apply to hearings conducted under this subdivision (2).

    (3)(A) A holder of an ignition interlock RDL or certificate who, prior to eligibility for reinstatement under section 1209a or 1216 of this title, is prevented from starting a motor vehicle because the ignition interlock device records a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 or above, shall be subject to a three-month extension of the applicable reinstatement period in the event of three such recorded events, and to consecutive three-month extensions for every additional three recorded events thereafter. The Commissioner shall disregard a recording of 0.04 or above for the purposes of this subdivision if the Commissioner in his or her discretion finds, based on a pattern of tests or other reliable information, that the recording does not indicate the consumption of alcohol by the holder. The Commissioner shall notify the holder in writing after every recording of 0.04 or above that indicates the consumption of alcohol by the holder and, prior to any extension under this subdivision, the holder shall have the opportunity to be heard pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection (f).

    (B) A holder of an ignition interlock RDL or certificate who, prior to eligibility for reinstatement under section 1209a or 1216 of this title, fails a random retest because the ignition interlock device records a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 or above and below 0.08, shall be subject to consecutive three-month extensions of the applicable reinstatement period for every such recorded event. A holder who fails a random retest because of a recording of 0.08 or above shall be subject to consecutive six-month extensions of the applicable reinstatement period for every such recorded event. The Commissioner shall disregard a recording of 0.04 or above for the purposes of this subdivision if the Commissioner in his or her discretion finds, based on a pattern of tests or other reliable information, that the recording does not indicate the consumption of alcohol by the holder. The Commissioner shall notify the holder in writing after every recording of 0.04 or above that is indicative of the consumption of alcohol by the holder and, prior to any extension under this subdivision, the holder shall have the opportunity to be heard pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection (f).

    (g) The holder of an ignition interlock RDL or certificate shall operate only motor vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device, shall not attempt or take any action to tamper with or otherwise circumvent an ignition interlock device, and, after failing a random retest, shall pull over and shut off the vehicle's engine as soon as practicable. A person who violates any provision of this section commits a criminal offense, shall be subject to the sanctions and procedures provided for in subsections 674(b)-(i) of this title, and, upon conviction, the applicable period prior to eligibility for reinstatement under section 1209a or 1216 of this title shall be extended by six months.

    (h) A person who violates a rule adopted by the Commissioner pursuant to subsection (l) of this section shall, after notice and an opportunity to be heard is provided pursuant to subdivision (f)(2) of this section, be subject to an extension of the period prior to eligibility for reinstatement under section 1209a or 1216 of this title in accordance with rules adopted by the Commissioner.

    (i) Upon receipt of notice that the holder of an ignition interlock RDL or certificate has been convicted of an offense under this title that would result in suspension, revocation, or recall of a license or privilege to operate, the Commissioner shall suspend, revoke, or recall the person's ignition interlock RDL or certificate for the same period that the license or privilege to operate would have been suspended, revoked, or recalled. The Commissioner may impose a reinstatement fee in accordance with section 675 of this title and require, prior to reinstatement, satisfactory proof of installation of an approved ignition interlock device and of financial responsibility as provided in section 801 of this title.

    (j) [Repealed.]

    (k) A person shall not knowingly and voluntarily tamper with an ignition interlock device on behalf of another person or otherwise assist another person to circumvent an ignition interlock device. A person adjudicated of a violation of this subsection shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $500.00.

    (l)(1) The Commissioner, in consultation with any individuals or entities the Commissioner deems appropriate, shall adopt rules and may enter into agreements to implement the provisions of this section. The Commissioner shall not approve a manufacturer of ignition interlock devices as a provider in this State unless the manufacturer agrees to reduce the cost of installing, leasing, and deinstalling the device by at least 50 percent for persons who furnish proof of receipt of 3SquaresVT, LIHEAP, or Reach Up benefits or like benefits in another state.

    (2) The rules shall establish uniform performance standards for ignition interlock devices including required levels of accuracy in measuring blood alcohol concentration, efficacy in distinguishing valid breath samples, the occurrence of random retests while the vehicle is running, and automatic signaling by the vehicle if the operator fails such a retest. After an initial random retest to occur within 15 minutes of the vehicle starting, subsequent random retests shall occur on average not more often than once every 30 minutes. The Commissioner shall certify devices that meet these standards, specify any periodic calibration that may be required to ensure accuracy of the devices, and specify the means and frequency of the retrieval and sharing of data collected by ignition interlock devices. The rules also shall establish a schedule of extensions of the period prior to eligibility for reinstatement as authorized under subsection (h) of this section.

    (m)(1) Images and other individually identifiable information in the custody of a public agency related to the use of an ignition interlock device are exempt from public inspection and copying under the Public Records Act and shall not be disclosed except:

    (A) pursuant to a warrant;

    (B) if a law enforcement officer, in good faith, believes that an emergency involving danger of death or serious bodily injury to any person requires access to the information without delay; or

    (C) in connection with enforcement proceedings under this section or rules adopted pursuant to this section.

    (2) Images or information disclosed in violation of this subsection shall be inadmissible in any judicial or administrative proceeding. (Added 2009, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 9, eff. May 27, 2010; amended 2011, No. 46, § 23; 2011, No. 46, § 24, eff. June 30, 2011; 2011, No. 90 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 47; 2015, No. 169 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 2017, No. 71, § 14, eff. Aug. 7, 2017; 2017, No. 83, § 161(4).)

  • § 1213a. Immobilization of vehicle

    (a) Immobilization. At the time of sentencing after a second or subsequent conviction under section 1201 of this title, the Court may, upon the motion of the State, and in addition to any penalty imposed by law, order the motor vehicle operated by the defendant at the time of the offense seized and immobilized by a law enforcement agency designated by the Court, as provided in this section and section 1213c of this title.

    (b) Immobilization on owner's property. A motor vehicle subject to an immobilization order shall be immobilized, whenever possible, on property owned by the owner of the vehicle or on a parking space legally available to the owner of the vehicle. An immobilized vehicle is not exempt from enforcement of liens held by third parties.

    (c) Immobilization on State or private property. If the owner of the motor vehicle does not own property or have a parking area on which the vehicle can be immobilized, the vehicle shall be impounded on property owned by the State or on private property. All costs of impoundment shall be paid by the defendant. The period of impoundment shall run as if the vehicle were immobilized.

    (d) Expiration of immobilization order. An order of immobilization under this section shall expire in 18 months or when the defendant obtains a valid operator's license, whichever comes first.

    (e) Release of vehicle. When an immobilization order expires, and when the costs provided for in this section have been paid in full by the defendant, the vehicle shall be released to its owner.

    (f) Costs. All costs of towing and impoundment shall be paid by the defendant before the vehicle is released to its owner. If the defendant fails to pay the towing and impoundment costs within 30 days after the immobilization order expires, the State is authorized to sell the vehicle by public auction pursuant to the procedures in 27 V.S.A. chapter 13. The proceeds from the sale of the vehicle shall be used first to offset the costs of towing, impounding, and releasing the vehicle. Any balance remaining, after any liens on the vehicle have been paid in full, shall be paid to the owner of the vehicle.

    (g) Disbursement of proceeds. Proceeds from the defendant's payment of the release fee and towing and impoundment costs shall be disbursed to the law enforcement agencies that incurred the costs.

    (h) Tampering. A person who tampers with an immobilization device or mobilizes a vehicle that is subject to an order of immobilization shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both. (Added 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 18.)

  • § 1213b. Forfeiture of vehicle

    At the time of sentencing after a third or subsequent conviction under section 1201 of this title or after a conviction under subdivision 1130(c)(1) of this title, or upon a determination by the Parole Board that a person has violated a condition of parole requiring that the person not operate a motor vehicle, the Court may, upon motion of the State and in addition to any penalty imposed by law and after notice and hearing, order the motor vehicle operated by the defendant or parolee at the time of the offense forfeited and sold as provided in section 1213c of this title. (Added 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 19; amended 2011, No. 56, § 12, eff. May 31, 2011.)

  • § 1213c. Immobilization and forfeiture proceedings

    (a) Notice. The State shall provide the following persons with notice of an immobilization or forfeiture hearing:

    (1) the defendant;

    (2) the registered owner or owners;

    (3) any holder of a security interest in or lien on the vehicle; and

    (4) any other person appearing to be an innocent owner or operator as described in subsection (g) of this section.

    (b) Content of notice. The notice shall contain the following:

    (1) a description of the motor vehicle, including vehicle identification number, make, model, and year;

    (2) the name of the registered owner or owners, lienholder, and any other person appearing to be an innocent owner or operator as described in subsection (g) of this section;

    (3) the date, time, and place of the hearing; and

    (4) a statement that any person who is an owner, an innocent owner or operator, or who holds a security interest in, or claims any interest in the motor vehicle, may appear and be heard at the hearing to protect the person's interest in the motor vehicle.

    (c) Service of notice. The notice of hearing shall be served as provided for in the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure on the registered owner or owners and any lienholders as shown on the certificate of title for the vehicle as shown in the records of the department of motor vehicles in the state in which the vehicle is registered or titled.

    (d) Hearing. The court shall hold a hearing to determine whether or not to order the motor vehicle immobilized or forfeited. The proceeding shall be against the motor vehicle and shall be deemed civil in nature.

    (e) Hardship consideration. In determining the motion, the court may consider any undue hardship which immobilization or forfeiture would cause to a person, other than the defendant, who is dependent on the motor vehicle for essential transportation needs. In making such determination, the court shall consider any evidence of past or current domestic violence.

    (f) Order. The court shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law and shall issue a final order. The court may order the motor vehicle immobilized or forfeited if the court finds that:

    (1) the motor vehicle is subject to immobilization or forfeiture;

    (2) the notice as required by this section was served; and

    (3) no party has shown that he or she is an innocent owner or operator as described in subsection (g) of this section.

    (g) Rights of innocent owner or operator. The court shall not order the immobilization or forfeiture of a motor vehicle if an owner, co-owner, or person who regularly operates the motor vehicle, other than the defendant, shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the owner, co-owner, or regular operator did not consent to or have any express or implied knowledge that the motor vehicle was being or was intended to be operated in a manner that would subject the motor vehicle to immobilization or forfeiture, or that the owner, co-owner, or regular operator had no reasonable opportunity or capacity to prevent the defendant from operating the motor vehicle.

    (h) Rented or leased vehicles. A vehicle that is rented or leased for a period of less than one year shall not be subject to immobilization or forfeiture unless it is established in the proceedings that the owner of the rented or leased vehicle knew of or consented to the operation of the motor vehicle in a manner that would subject the vehicle to immobilization or forfeiture.

    (i) Lienholder. If the court finds that a person has an enforceable lien on or other interest in the motor vehicle which is not held through a straw purchase, trust, or otherwise for the actual benefit of another and that the person did not know of or consent to the operation of the motor vehicle in a manner that would subject the vehicle to immobilization or forfeiture, the court shall:

    (1) permit the person to enforce the lien or other interest as provided by law if such enforcement does not result in the return of the motor vehicle to the defendant; or

    (2) upon immobilization or forfeiture, order compensation to the person, to the extent of the person's interest, from the proceeds of the resulting sale.

    (j) Order of forfeiture. If the court orders the motor vehicle forfeited, it shall be delivered into the custody of the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services, who shall dispose of the motor vehicle pursuant to 29 V.S.A. § 1556. The proceeds from the sale of the vehicle shall first be used to offset any costs of selling the vehicle, and then, after any liens on the vehicle have been paid in full, applied to any unpaid restitution owed by the defendant in connection with the charge that resulted in forfeiture. Any balance remaining shall be deposited into the General Fund.

    (k) Appeal. A decision of the court under this section may be appealed as a matter of right to the Supreme Court.

    (l) Disbursement of proceeds. Proceeds from the defendant's payment of the release fee and towing and impoundment costs shall be disbursed to the law enforcement agencies that incurred the costs.

    (m) Owning, leasing, and renting prohibited. After issuance of an immobilization or forfeiture order, and during the defendant's license suspension or revocation period, the defendant shall not operate, purchase, lease, or rent a motor vehicle. A person who violates this subsection shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

    (n)(1) Selling or encumbering prohibited. Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, after a person is detained, arrested, lodged, or released upon citation for a second or subsequent violation of section 1201 of this title, no person shall sell, transfer, or encumber the title to a vehicle that the person knows may be subject to immobilization under section 1213a of this title or forfeiture under section 1213b of this title, unless approved by the court in which the charge is filed for good cause shown. A person who violates this section shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

    (2) If the State has not commenced a prosecution for a second or subsequent violation of section 1201 of this title within 90 days of the detention, arrest, lodging, or release upon citation, the person may sell, transfer, or encumber the subject vehicle.

    (o) A law enforcement or prosecution agency conducting forfeitures under this section may accept, receive, and disburse in furtherance of its duties and functions under this section any appropriations, grants, and donations made available by the State of Vermont and its agencies, the federal government and its agencies, any municipality or other unit of local government, or private or civil sources. (Added 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 2001, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2003, No. 41, § 1; 2007, No. 40, § 7; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 161; 2015, No. 53, § 8.)

  • § 1214. Repealed. 1991, No. 55, § 20.

  • § 1215. Injunctive relief

    If the Commissioner has not reinstated a license after the suspension or revocation period has run under this subchapter, and the person alleges he or she has complied with section 1209a of this title or alleges that the alcohol assessment screening does not indicate that therapy should be a condition of reinstatement, he or she may seek injunctive relief in the Criminal Division of the Superior Court in the manner provided by the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure. In such actions, the Driver Rehabilitation Program Director shall be the proper defendant. (Added 1989, No. 68, § 10, Dec. 1, 1989; amended 1995, No. 112 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. April 22, 1996; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238.)

  • § 1216. Persons under 21 years of age; alcohol concentration of 0.02 or more

    (a) A person under 21 years of age who operates, attempts to operate, or is in actual physical control of a vehicle on a highway when the person's alcohol concentration is 0.02 or more commits a civil traffic violation subject to the jurisdiction of the Judicial Bureau and subject to the following sanctions:

    (1) For a first violation, the person's license or privilege to operate shall be suspended for six months and until the person complies with subdivision 1209a(a)(1) of this title. However, during the suspension, an eligible person may operate under the terms of an ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate issued pursuant to section 1213 of this title. A person who elects to operate under an RDL or certificate shall not be eligible for reinstatement unless he or she operates under the RDL or certificate for six months plus any extension of this period arising from a violation of section 1213 of this title.

    (2) For a second or subsequent violation, the person's license or privilege to operate shall be suspended until the person reaches 21 years of age or for one year, whichever is longer, and complies with subdivisions 1209a(a)(2)(A), (B), and (D) of this title. However, during the suspension, an eligible person may operate under the terms of an ignition interlock RDL or ignition interlock certificate issued pursuant to section 1213 of this title. A person who elects to operate under an RDL or certificate shall not be eligible for reinstatement unless he or she operates under the RDL or certificate for one year or until the person reaches 21 years of age, whichever is longer, plus any extension of this period arising from a violation of section 1213 of this title.

    (b) [Repealed.]

    (c) A person who violates this section may also be subject to recall of his or her provisional license under section 607a of this title.

    (d) If a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a person is violating this section, the officer may request the person to submit to a breath test using a preliminary screening device approved by the Commissioner of Public Safety. A refusal to submit to the breath test shall be considered a violation of this section. Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in sections 1202 and 1203 of this title:

    (1) the results of the test shall be admissible evidence in a proceeding under this section; and

    (2) there shall be no statutory right to counsel prior to the administration of the test.

    (e) In a proceeding under this section, if there was at any time within two hours of operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control of a vehicle on a highway an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or more, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that the person's alcohol concentration was 0.02 or more at the time of operating, attempting to operate, or being in actual physical control.

    (f) No fine and no points shall be assessed for a violation of this section.

    (g) The Alcohol and Driving Program required under this section shall be administered by the Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs and shall take into consideration any particular treatment needs of operators under the age of 21.

    (h) A charge of violating this section shall not bar prosecution for any crime, including a prosecution under section 1201 of this title.

    (i) Suspensions imposed under this section or any comparable statute of any other jurisdiction shall run concurrently with suspensions imposed under sections 1205, 1206, and 1208 of this title or any comparable statutes of any other jurisdiction or with any suspension resulting from a conviction for a violation of section 1091 of this title from the same incident, and a person shall receive credit for any elapsed period of a suspension served in Vermont against a later suspension imposed in this State. (Added 1991, No. 55, § 17; amended 1997, No. 57, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; 1997, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 9, 27; 2009, No. 126 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. July 1, 2011; 2011, No. 46, § 9, eff. July 2, 2011; 2011, No. 56, § 18, eff. March 1, 2012; 2011, No. 90 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 2013, No. 57, § 20; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 52.)

  • § 1217. [Reserved for future use.]

  • § 1218. Commercial motor vehicles; 0.04

    (a) A person shall not operate, attempt to operate, or be in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle:

    (1) when the person's alcohol concentration is 0.04 or more; or

    (2) when the person is under the influence of alcohol; or

    (3) when the person is under the influence of any other drug or under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug to a degree which renders the person incapable of driving safely.

    (b) A violation of this section shall result in disqualification from driving a commercial motor vehicle as provided in section 4116 of this title, or in suspension of the privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle as provided in section 4116a of this title. Those provisions of section 1205 of this title which establish a procedure for civil suspensions shall apply to this section except that where that section refers to alcohol concentration it shall be deemed to refer to an alcohol concentration of 0.04. (Added 1991, No. 88, § 13, eff. April 1, 1992; amended 1999, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 25; 2017, No. 83, § 161(4).)

  • § 1219. Commercial motor vehicle; detectable amount; out-of-service

    A person who is operating, attempting to operate, or in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle with any measurable or detectable amount of alcohol in his or her system shall immediately be placed out-of-service for 24 hours by an enforcement officer. A law enforcement officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has a measurable or detectable amount of alcohol in his or her system on the basis of the person's general appearance, conduct, or other substantiating evidence, may request the person to submit to a test, which may be administered with a preliminary screening device. The law enforcement officer shall inform the person at the time the test is requested that refusal to submit will result in disqualification. If the person refuses to submit to the test, the person shall immediately be placed out-of-service for 24 hours and shall be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle as provided in section 4116 of this title. (Added 1991, No. 88, § 14.)

  • § 1220. Enforcement; sobriety checkpoints; safe highway accident reduction project; mobile evidentiary breath alcohol testing equipment funding

    (a) Each county safe highway accident reduction project (SHARP) program shall organize and participate in at least six sobriety checkpoints prior to February 28, 1998. The checkpoints shall be coordinated by the SHARP county project directors.

    (b) The Governor's Highway Safety Program shall purchase two mobile evidentiary breath alcohol testing instruments. The instruments shall be distributed for use with priority given to constables and county and municipal law enforcement agencies in the areas of the State where there is not quick and convenient access to nonmobile breath testing instruments.

    (c) For fiscal year 1998, unless inconsistent with federal law, 33 percent of the funds received under the provisions of 23 U.S.C. § 402 shall be used to reduce DUI on Vermont highways, as follows:

    (1) to purchase two mobile evidentiary breath alcohol testing instruments described in subsection (b) of this section;

    (2) 161/2 percent to fund the organized county SHARP sobriety checkpoints described in subsection (a) of this section; and

    (3) the balance to be expended by and under the control and discretion of SHARP county project directors to increase the presence of law enforcement officers on Vermont highways for the principal purpose of detecting and apprehending violators of the DUI laws. (Added 1997, No. 56, § 6, eff. Aug. 1, 1997.)

  • § 1220a. DUI Enforcement Special Fund

    (a) There is created a DUI Enforcement Special Fund which shall be a special fund established and managed pursuant to 32 V.S.A. chapter 7, subchapter 5. The DUI Enforcement Special Fund shall be a continuation of and successor to the DUI Enforcement Special Fund established under subsection 1205(r) of this title.

    (b) The DUI Enforcement Special Fund shall consist of:

    (1) receipts from the surcharges assessed under section 206 and subsections 674(i), 1091(d), 1094(f), 1128(d), 1133(d), 1205(r), and 1210(k) of this title;

    (2) beginning in fiscal year 2000 and thereafter, the first $150,000.00 of revenues collected from fines imposed under subchapter 13 of chapter 13 of this title pertaining to DUI related offenses;

    (3) beginning May 1, 2013 and thereafter, $0.0038 per gallon of the revenues raised by the motor fuel tax on gasoline imposed by chapter 28 of this title; and

    (4) any additional funds transferred or appropriated by the General Assembly.

    (c) The DUI Enforcement Special Fund shall be used for the implementation and enforcement of this subchapter for purposes specified and in amounts appropriated by the General Assembly. Effort shall be given to awarding grants to municipalities or law enforcement agencies for innovative programs designed to reduce DUI offenses, and priority shall be given to grants requested jointly by more than one law enforcement agency or municipality. (Added 1997, No. 117 (Adj. Sess.), § 41; amended 1999, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 77, eff. May 29, 2000; 2011, No. 56, § 6, eff. May 31, 2011; 2013, No. 12, § 25, eff. May 1, 2013.)

  • § 1220b. Blood and Breath Alcohol Testing Special Fund

    (a) There is created a Blood and Breath Alcohol Testing Special Fund which shall be a special fund established and managed pursuant to 32 V.S.A. chapter 7, subchapter 5.

    (b) The Blood and Breath Alcohol Testing Special Fund shall consist of receipts from the surcharges assessed under subsection 1210(i) of this title.

    (c) The Blood and Breath Alcohol Testing Special Fund shall be used for the implementation and support of the Blood and Breath Alcohol Testing Program within the Department of Public Safety. (Added 2011, No. 56, § 19, eff. March 1, 2012.)


  • Subchapter 014: EQUIPMENT
  • § 1221. Condition of vehicle

    A motor vehicle, operated on any highway, shall be in good mechanical condition and shall be properly equipped.

  • § 1221a. Defective equipment warning

    The operator of a motor vehicle who receives a ticket for inoperative lights shall not be required to pay the fine associated with the ticket provided that within 72 hours of receiving the ticket the issuing Department receives proof that the defect has been repaired. (Added 1997, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. April 27, 1998; amended 1999, No. 34, § 2.)

  • § 1222. Inspection of registered vehicles

    (a) Except for school buses which shall be inspected as prescribed in section 1282 of this title and motor buses as defined in subdivision 4(17) of this title which shall be inspected twice during the calendar year at six-month intervals, all motor vehicles registered in this State shall be inspected once each year. Any motor vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer not currently inspected in this State shall be inspected within 15 days from the date of its registration in the State of Vermont.

    (b) The inspections shall be made at garages or qualified service stations, designated by the Commissioner as inspection stations, for the purpose of determining whether those motor vehicles are properly equipped and maintained in good mechanical condition. The charges for such inspections made by garages or qualified service stations designated to conduct periodic inspections shall be subject to the approval of the Commissioner. If a fee is charged for inspection, it shall be based upon the hourly rate charged by each official inspection station or it may be a flat rate fee and, in either instance, the fee shall be prominently posted and displayed beside the official inspection station certificate. In addition, the official inspection station may disclose the State inspection certificate charge on the repair order as a separate item and collect the charge from the consumer.

    (c) A person shall not operate a motor vehicle unless it has been inspected as required by this section and has a valid certification of inspection affixed to it. A person shall be subject to a fine of not more than $5.00 if he or she is cited for a violation of this section within 14 days of expiration of the motor vehicle inspection sticker. The month of next inspection for all motor vehicles shall be shown on the current inspection certificate affixed to the vehicle.

    (d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, an exhibition vehicle of model year 1940 or before registered as prescribed in section 373 of this title or a trailer registered as prescribed in subdivision 371(a)(1)(A) of this title shall be exempt from inspection; provided, however, the vehicle must be equipped as originally manufactured, must be in good mechanical condition, and must meet the applicable standards of the inspection manual.

    [Subsection (e) repealed effective July 1, 2020.]

    (e) A vehicle used as a mail carrier under a contract with the U.S. Postal Service shall not fail inspection solely because, in converting the vehicle to be a right-hand drive vehicle, the right air bag in the front compartment has been disconnected or a nonfactory disconnect switch has been installed to disable the air bag. (Amended 1967, No. 67; 1967, No. 104, § 1; 1969, No. 143, § 3; 1969, No. 299 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1971; 1977, No. 20, § 6; 1993, No. 64, § 3; 1997, No. 32, § 3; 2003, No. 118 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2005, No. 80, § 55; 2009, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; 2011, No. 62, § 38; 2017, No. 71, § 27, eff. June 8, 2017.)

  • § 1222a. Emissions of diesel-powered commercial vehicles

    (a) Except for voluntary exhaust-smoke emission testing, a vehicle may be stopped and an inspection performed under this section only if a law enforcement officer observes an apparent violation of the exhaust-smoke emission standard. If the equipment for smoke testing is not available, a law enforcement officer may require the operator or the owner to submit the vehicle for an emission test at a reasonably convenient time and place. Failure to submit to the test shall be conclusive evidence of the vehicle's noncompliance with the exhaust-smoke emission standard. Any test administered under this section and any notice of violation issued shall be done by a sworn law enforcement officer trained and certified by the Department of Motor Vehicles. For purposes of this section:

    (1) "Commercial motor vehicle" is defined under subdivision 4103(4) of this title.

    (2) "Law enforcement officer" means an officer of the Department of Motor Vehicles trained and certified by the Department of Motor Vehicles to conduct exhaust-smoke emission inspections.

    (b) No diesel-powered commercial motor vehicle shall be operated on the highways of this State unless the vehicle complies with the exhaust-smoke emission standard and the rules adopted by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. Any person who owns or operates such a vehicle while it is operated in violation of the provisions of this section or the rules adopted by the Commissioner shall be fined:

    (1) $200.00 for a first violation per vehicle, except that a person shall not be fined if, within 45 days from the date of the emission inspection, the defect is repaired and notification of the repair is provided to the Department of Motor Vehicles or the vehicle is taken out of service;

    (2) $200.00 for a second violation by the same vehicle within a two-year period if the first violation was repaired within 45 days from the date of the emission inspection, except that a person shall not be fined if the second violation occurs within 60 days from the date of repair of the first violation. For purposes of this subdivision, the "date of repair" shall be the date indicated in the notification of repair submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles under subdivision (b)(1) of this subsection;

    (3) $400.00 for a second violation by the same vehicle within a two-year period if the first violation was not repaired within 45 days from the date of the emission inspection;

    (4) $ 400.00 for a third or subsequent violation committed by the same vehicle within a two-year period if the first violation was repaired within 45 days from the date of the emission inspection; and

    (5) $800.00 for a third or subsequent violation committed by the same vehicle within a two-year period if the first violation was not repaired within 45 days from the date of the emission inspection.

    (c) The Commissioner shall establish by rule a process by which the owner of a vehicle that has been taken out of service under this section and that is currently in violation of the exhaust-smoke emission standard shall, prior to sale or transfer of the vehicle, notify the purchaser or transferee that the vehicle does not comply with the exhaust-smoke emission standard.

    (d) All fines generated from the violation of this section shall be deposited in the Transportation Fund. (Added 2005, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. July 1, 2007.)

  • § 1223. Prohibitions

    A person shall not affix or cause to be affixed to a motor vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer a certification of inspection that was not assigned by an official inspection station to such motor vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer. No person shall reaffix or cause to be reaffixed an official sticker once removed; instead, replacement stickers shall be affixed as prescribed by the rules for replacement sticker agents. A person shall not knowingly operate a motor vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer to which a certification of inspection is affixed if the certification of inspection was not assigned by an official station to that vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer. (Added 1967, No. 104, § 2; amended 1969, No. 143, § 4; 2011, No. 46, § 10.)

  • § 1224. Inspection certificates

    For each inspection certificate issued by the Department, the designated station shall pay the Commissioner the fee required under section 1230 of this title. All unused inspection certificates and number tabs shall be returned to the Department within two months of the certificate's expiration date. A designated inspection station shall receive a refund for each unused certificate returned during the two-month period. If the station's designation is revoked or suspended under section 1228 of this title, the station shall return all unused certificates to the Department and shall not receive a refund. (Added 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 66i, eff. Sept. 1, 1998.)

  • § 1225. Penalty

    The Commissioner may suspend the registration of any motor vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer until the owner thereof complies with the requirements of this article. (Added 1969, No. 143, § 5; amended 1971, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 19.)

  • § 1226. Reciprocity

    The Commissioner may authorize the acceptance in this State of a certificate of inspection and approval issued in another state or province having inspection requirements similar to the requirements in effect in this State. He or she may extend the time within which a certification of inspection shall be obtained in this State by the owner of a motor vehicle registered in this State and so inspected which was not in this State during the time an inspection was required. (Added 1969, No. 299 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1971.)

  • § 1227. Certified inspection mechanics

    (a) Periodic inspections may be performed only by mechanics who have been certified by the Commissioner; provided that an uncertified person employed as an inspection mechanic may perform inspections during the first 30 days that he or she is employed by the inspection station.

    (b) A person who applies for certification under this section shall:

    (1) complete an application form prescribed by the Commissioner;

    (2) be at least 18 years of age; and

    (3) pass an examination based on the official inspection manual for each type of vehicle to be inspected and on the inspection requirements for each type of vehicle to be inspected.

    (c) Upon an applicant's satisfaction of the requirements of subsection (b) of this section, the Commissioner shall issue a certification which shall remain in effect for a period of five years or until surrendered, suspended, or revoked. Inspection mechanics certified by their employer as competent to perform inspections and who were continuously employed by one or more designated inspection stations for a period of at least one year at any time prior to July 1, 1998 shall not be required to take the examination.

    (d) To inspect a school bus, a certified inspection mechanic shall not be required to have a commercial driver license if he or she:

    (1) uses approved automated brake testing equipment in lieu of an inspection road test; or

    (2) only operates the school bus at a safe location that is not a highway as defined in 19 V.S.A. § 1(12) as necessary to conduct an inspection road test. (Added 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 66j, eff. Jan. 1, 1999; amended 2005, No. 188 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2013, No. 189 (Adj. Sess.), § 38.)

  • § 1228. Mechanic certification; inspection designation; revocation

    Any certification for mechanic or designation as an inspection station may be revoked or suspended for cause as described in the official inspection manuals. (Added 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 66k.)

  • § 1229. Rules

    (a) The Commissioner may adopt rules necessary to implement the provisions of sections 1222, 1224, 1227, and 1228 of this title, relating to inspections and certification of inspection mechanics.

    (b) In consultation with the Secretary of Natural Resources or the Secretary's designee, the Commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to the provisions in 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, to establish a standard of exhaust-smoke emission for all diesel-powered commercial motor vehicles operated on the highways of this State. In establishing this standard, the Commissioner shall review standards in effect in other states and shall endeavor to maintain consistency with those standards. The rules adopted shall recognize different types and ages of vehicles and comprise standards which shall, at least in part, be based on the age of the vehicle. The standards shall be reviewed by the Commissioner periodically and may be revised in consultation with the Secretary of Natural Resources or the Secretary's designee, as the Commissioner deems appropriate. Additionally, the Commissioner, in consultation with the Secretary of Natural Resources or the Secretary's designee, shall adopt rules which select a method or methods for testing the exhaust emissions of diesel-powered commercial motor vehicles and which implement section 1222a of this title. The method selected shall be one that is designed to be performed without unreasonable delay for the vehicle being tested. The rules shall include a process by which the owner of a commercial motor vehicle may arrange with the Department of Motor Vehicles for the voluntary exhaust-smoke emission testing of a vehicle. For the purposes of this section, "commercial motor vehicle" is defined under subdivision 4103(4) of this title. (Added 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 66l; amended 2005, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 26, 2006.)

  • § 1230. Charge

    For each inspection certificate issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Commissioner shall be paid $6.00, provided that State and municipal inspection stations that inspect only State or municipally owned and registered vehicles shall not be required to pay a fee. All vehicle inspection certificate charge revenue shall be allocated to the Transportation Fund with one-half reserved for bridge maintenance activities. (Added 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 66m, eff. Sept. 1, 1998; amended 2005, No. 80, § 54; 2009, No. 50, § 50; 2009, No. 123 (Adj. Sess.), § 25; 2011, No. 128 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; 2015, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 41.)

  • § 1231. Administrative penalties

    (a) The Commissioner may impose an administrative penalty of not more than $500.00 for each violation against a designated inspection station or a certified inspection mechanic who violates the laws relating to the performance of periodic motor vehicle inspections or the official inspection manuals.

    (b) Each violation is a separate and distinct offense and, in the case of a continuing violation, each day's continuance may be deemed a separate and distinct offense. In no event shall the maximum amount imposed for a continuing offense exceed $1,000.00.

    (c) The Commissioner shall adopt rules establishing categories of violations for which administrative penalties are to be imposed under this section. Categories shall be based on the severity of the violation involved. Penalties assessed for each determination of violation of the inspection rules shall not exceed the following amounts per category:

    (1) Category 1. Violation of State law relative to inspection-$500.00.

    (2) Category 2. Violation of inspection rule (fraud related)-$300.00.

    (3) Category 3. Violation of inspection rule (improper action)-$250.00.

    (4) Category 4. Violation of inspection rule (records/equipment)-$100.00.

    (5) Category 5. Violation of inspection rule (documentation)-$50.00.

    (d) The alleged violator shall be given notice and opportunity for a hearing. Service of the notice shall be sufficient if sent by first class mail to the station's address or the most recent address provided by the mechanic. The notice shall include the following:

    (1) a factual description of the alleged violation;

    (2) a reference to the particular statute allegedly violated;

    (3) the amount of the proposed administrative penalty;

    (4) a warning that the person will be deemed to have waived his or her right to a hearing, that the penalty will be imposed if no hearing is requested within 15 days from date of notice, and that failure to pay a penalty may result in suspension of his or her license.

    (e) A person who receives notice under subsection (d) of this section shall be deemed to have waived the right to a hearing unless, within 15 days from date of the notice, the person requests a hearing in writing. If the person waives the right to a hearing, the Commissioner shall issue a final order finding the person in default and imposing the penalty.

    (f) The provisions of sections 105, 106, and 107 of this title shall apply to hearings conducted under this section.

    (g) The Commissioner may collect an unpaid administrative penalty by filing a civil action in Superior Court, or through any other means available to State agencies.

    (h) If a penalty is not paid within 60 days after it is imposed, the Commissioner may suspend any license, certificate, registration, or permit issued under this subchapter.

    (i) The remedies authorized by this section shall be in addition to any other civil or criminal remedies provided by law for violation of this subchapter.

    (j) Penalties assessed under this section shall be deposited in the Transportation Fund. (Added 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 66n, eff. Jan. 1, 1999.)

  • § 1241. Locking device

    A motor vehicle shall be provided with a lock, key, or other device to prevent such motor vehicle from being set in motion by its own motive power.

  • § 1242. Safety glass

    (a) A person shall not operate on a highway in this State a motor vehicle registered in Vermont, manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1936, unless such vehicle is equipped with safety glass, wherever glass is used in doors, windows, and windshields. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall suspend the registration of any motor vehicle found to be operating in violation of this section until the provisions hereof are satisfactorily complied with.

    (b) This section does not apply to trailer coaches. (Amended 1969, No. 31, § 1.)

  • § 1243. Lights

    (a) A motor vehicle, except a motorcycle and motor-driven cycle, in use or at rest on a highway, unless otherwise provided, during the period from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise, shall also be equipped with at least two lighted head lamps of substantially the same intensity and with reflectors and lenses of a design approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, and with a lighted tail or rear lamp of a design so approved. A motorcycle or motor-driven cycle may be operated during the period mentioned if equipped with at least one lighted head lamp and at least one lighted tail or rear lamp, both of a design approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. A sidecar attached to such motorcycle or motor-driven cycle shall be equipped with a light on the right side of such sidecar visible from the front thereof. A person shall not operate a motor vehicle during the period mentioned unless it is equipped as defined in this section.

    (b) Every vehicle upon a highway within this State, at any time from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise and at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons or vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 500 feet ahead, shall display lighted lamps and illuminating devices as respectively required for different classes of vehicles, subject to exceptions with respect to parked vehicles.

    (c) Local regulations made and promulgated by the legislative bodies of municipalities govern within their respective municipalities with relation to the use of lights at night on motor vehicles at rest or in motion on well-lighted streets. Stop lights, turn signals, and other signaling devices shall be lighted as prescribed for their use. (Amended 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. March 1, 1973; 1977, No. 20, § 7; 2009, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 19j, eff. Sept. 1, 2010.)

  • § 1244. Illumination required

    The light from the front lamps of a motor vehicle other than a motorcycle, while such vehicle is in motion, shall render any substantial object on the ground clearly visible at least 150 feet ahead of such vehicle, and, while such vehicle is at rest, shall be visible for at least 200 feet in the direction in which such vehicle is headed.

  • § 1245. Illumination required on motorcycles

    The light from the front lamp of a motorcycle shall render any substantial object on the ground clearly visible at least 100 feet ahead of such motorcycle.

  • § 1246. Restrictions

    A person shall not use on a vehicle of any kind operated on the highway during the period stated in section 1243 of this title any lighting device of over four candle power equipped with a reflector, unless such device and the lens used therein, and such candle power is approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, nor unless the same shall be so designed, deflected, or arranged that a beam of reflected light therefrom, when measured 75 feet or more ahead of the lamps shall not rise more than six inches above the height of the bulb in such lamp and in no event more than 42 inches from the level surface on which the vehicle stands under all conditions of load. When vehicles are approaching each other from opposite directions, spotlights shall not be used except when projecting their rays directly on the ground and at a distance not exceeding 30 feet in front of the vehicle.

  • § 1247. Approval of lighting devices

    The manufacturer or distributor of each device or lens designed to control lights on motor vehicles shall apply to the Commissioner for his or her approval of the use of such device or lens in this State. The Commissioner shall make or cause to be made such laboratory and road tests of each device or lens submitted as he or she deems necessary, or he or she may adopt the approval or disapproval of such device or lens by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. (Amended 1981, No. 135 (Adj. Sess.).)

  • § 1248. Taillights

    (a) Every motor vehicle, trailer, semi-trailer, and pole trailer, and any other vehicle which is being drawn at the end of a combination of vehicles, shall be equipped with at least two taillamps mounted on the rear, except that one taillamp shall be allowed on any vehicle equipped with only one when it was manufactured.

    (b) Either a taillamp or a separate lamp shall be so constructed and placed as to illuminate with a white light all parts of the rear registration number plate on the vehicle so that all the numerals, letters, and marks on the plate are clearly visible and legible for at least 50 feet from the rear of the vehicle. (Amended 2001, No. 75 (Adj. Sess.), § 8.)

  • § 1249. Directional signal lamps

    A person shall not operate on a highway in this State a pleasure car, pleasure car with trailer coach attached, motor truck, truck-tractor in combination with a trailer or semi-trailer, motor bus, or school bus registered in Vermont, manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1955, unless such vehicle is equipped with directional signal lamps, of a type approved by the Commissioner, on front and rear of such vehicle or combination. (Amended 1971, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 32.)

  • § 1250. Clearance lamps

    (a) Every motor vehicle, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, having a width at any part in excess of 80 inches, when in use or at rest on a highway, during the period from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise, shall display on the left side of the vehicle at least one lamp, to be known as a clearance lamp, displaying an amber light visible under normal atmospheric conditions 500 feet ahead of the vehicle, and displaying a red light visible, under like conditions, 500 feet to the rear of the vehicle, to mark as closely as possible the extreme height and width of the vehicle.

    (b) All motor vehicles of the pleasure car type having a width at any part in excess of 82 inches shall be subject to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section. (Amended 1991, No. 165 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)

  • § 1251. Sirens and colored signal lamps; out-of-state emergency and rescue vehicles

    (a) A motor vehicle shall not be operated upon a highway of this State equipped with a siren or signal lamp colored other than amber unless a permit authorizing this equipment, issued by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, is carried in the vehicle. A permit may be transferred following the same procedure and subject to the same time limits as set forth in section 321 of this title. The Commissioner may adopt additional rules as may be required to govern the acquisition of permits and the use pertaining to sirens and colored signal lamps.

    (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, when responding to emergencies, law enforcement vehicles, ambulances, fire vehicles, or vehicles owned or leased by, or provided to, volunteer firefighters or rescue squad members which are registered or licensed by another state or province may use sirens and signal lamps in Vermont, and a permit shall not be required for such use, as long as the vehicle is properly permitted in its home state or province. (Amended 1967, No. 265 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1985, No. 85, § 6; 2001, No. 106 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2009, No. 123 (Adj. Sess.), § 39; 2009, No. 152 (Adj. Sess.), § 19, eff. June 1, 2010.)

  • § 1252. Issuance of permits for sirens or colored lamps, or both; use of amber lamps

    (a) When satisfied as to the condition and use of the vehicle, the Commissioner shall issue and may revoke, for cause, permits for sirens or colored signal lamps in the following manner:

    (1) Sirens or blue or blue and white signal lamps, or a combination of these, may be authorized for all law enforcement vehicles owned or leased by a law enforcement agency, a certified law enforcement officer, or the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council. If the applicant is a constable, the application shall be accompanied by a certification by the town clerk that the applicant is the duly elected or appointed constable and attesting that the town has not voted to limit the constable's authority to engage in enforcement activities under 24 V.S.A. § 1936a.

    (2) Sirens and red or red and white signal lamps may be authorized for all ambulances, fire apparatus, vehicles used solely in rescue operations, or vehicles owned or leased by, or provided to, volunteer firefighters and voluntary rescue squad members, including a vehicle owned by a volunteer's employer when the volunteer has the written authorization of the employer to use the vehicle for emergency fire or rescue activities.

    (3) No vehicle may be authorized a permit for more than one of the combinations described in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection.

    (4) No motor vehicle, other than one owned by the applicant, shall be issued a permit until the Commissioner has recorded the information regarding both the owner of the vehicle and the applicant for the permit.

    (5) Upon application to the Commissioner, the Commissioner may issue a single permit for all the vehicles owned or leased by the applicant.

    (6) Sirens and red or red and white signal lamps, or sirens and blue or blue and white signal lamps, may be authorized for restored emergency or enforcement vehicles used for exhibition purposes. Sirens and lamps authorized under this subdivision may only be activated during an exhibition, such as a car show or parade.

    (b) Amber signal lamps shall be used on road maintenance vehicles, service vehicles, and wreckers and shall be used on all registered snow removal equipment when in use removing snow on public highways and the amber lamps shall be mounted so as to be visible from all sides of the motor vehicle. A vehicle equipped with an amber signal lamp may not be issued a permit for the installation and use of a siren. (Amended 1967, No. 265 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1969, No. 259 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; 1985, No. 85, § 7; 1987, No. 5; 1987, No. 241 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1991, No. 128 (Adj. Sess.), § 1 eff. April 10, 1992; 1995, No. 88 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2001, No. 106 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2013, No. 57, § 21.)

  • § 1253. Inspection of permits

    Permits issued by the Commissioner in accordance with the provisions of sections 1251 and 1252 of this title shall be carried in some easily accessible place in the vehicles authorized to use the equipment and shall be available for inspection at any or all times by any law enforcement officer, or during the inspection by the authorized personnel of an official inspection station designated as such by the Department of Motor Vehicles, as provided by section 1222 of this title. No inspection sticker may be issued for a vehicle equipped with a siren or colored signal lamp, or both, unless a current or valid permit for the siren or colored signal lamp, or both, is produced for inspection. If a vehicle's permit is issued pursuant to subdivision 1252(a)(5) of this title, a copy of the permit is acceptable. (Amended 1967, No. 265 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2001, No. 106 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)

  • § 1254. Repealed. 1971, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 32.

  • § 1255. Exceptions

    (1) The provisions of section 1251 of this title shall not apply to directional signal lamps of a type approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

    (2) All persons with motor vehicles equipped as provided in subdivision 1252(a)(1) and (2) of this title, shall use the sirens or colored signal lamps or both only in the direct performance of their official duties. When any person other than a law enforcement officer is operating a motor vehicle equipped as provided in subdivision 1252(a)(1) of this title, the colored signal lamp shall be either removed, covered, or hooded. When any person, other than an authorized ambulance operator, firefighter, or authorized operator of vehicles used in rescue operation is operating a motor vehicle equipped as provided in subdivision 1252(a)(2) of this title, the colored signal lamps shall be either removed, covered, or hooded unless the operator holds a senior operator license. (Added 1967, No. 265 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 1985, No. 85, § 8; 1995, No. 88 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 1256. Motorcycles-Headgear

    A person may not operate or ride upon a motorcycle upon a highway unless he or she properly wears protective headgear of a type that conforms to the federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards contained in 49 C.F.R. § 571.218, as may be amended. The requirement of this section shall not apply to occupants of fully enclosed autocycles. (Added 1967, No. 264 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2009, No. 39, § 3; 2013, No. 189 (Adj. Sess.), § 37.)

  • § 1257. Eye protection

    If a motorcycle is not equipped with a windshield or screen, the operator of the motorcycle shall wear either eye glasses, goggles, or a protective face shield when operating the vehicle. The glasses, goggles, or face shield shall have colorless lenses when the motorcycle is being operated during the period of 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise and at any other time when due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 500 feet ahead. (Added 1967, No. 264 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2015, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 20.)

  • § 1258. Child restraint systems; persons under age 18

    (a) No person shall operate a motor vehicle, other than a type I school bus, in this State upon a public highway unless every occupant under age 18 is properly restrained in a federally approved child passenger restraining system as defined in 49 C.F.R. § 571.213, as may be amended, or a federally approved safety belt, as follows:

    (1) all children under the age of one, and all children weighing less than 20 pounds, regardless of age, shall be restrained in a rear-facing position, properly secured in a federally approved child passenger restraining system, which shall not be installed in front of an active air bag;

    (2) a child weighing more than 20 pounds, and who is one year of age or older and under the age of eight years, shall be restrained in a child passenger restraining system; and

    (3) a child eight through 17 years of age shall be restrained in a safety belt system or a child passenger restraining system.

    (b) A person shall not be adjudicated in violation of this section if:

    (1) the motor vehicle is regularly used to transport passengers for hire except a motor vehicle owned or operated by a child care facility;

    (2) the motor vehicle was manufactured without safety belts; or

    (3) the person has been ordered by an enforcement officer, a firefighter, or an authorized civil authority to evacuate persons from a stricken area.

    (c) The penalty for violation of this section shall be as follows:

    (1) $25.00 for a first violation;

    (2) $50.00 for a second violation;

    (3) $100.00 for third and subsequent violations. (Added 1983, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1987, No. 49; 1989, No. 167 (Adj. Sess.); 1993, No. 20, § 1; 1993, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2003, No. 28, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2004; 2005, No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 54; 2005, No. 175 (Adj. Sess.), § 61; 2009, No. 150 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. June 1, 2010; 2015, No. 47, § 28.)

  • § 1259. Safety belts; persons age 18 or over

    (a) The operator of a motor vehicle shall be guilty of a violation of this section if any person 18 years of age or older is occupying a seating position which has been manufactured with a federally approved safety belt system and is not restrained by the safety belt system while the motor vehicle is in motion on a public highway.

    (b) A person is required to be restrained in a safety belt system unless:

    (1) the person is a rural mail carrier of the U.S. Postal Service operating a motor vehicle in the performance of employment;

    (2) the person is a driver or passenger frequently stopping and leaving the motor vehicle or delivering property from the motor vehicle, if the speed of the motor vehicle between stops does not exceed 15 miles per hour;

    (3) the person is the operator of any farm tractor;

    (4) the person is a member of the emergency personnel of an emergency motor vehicle and finds it necessary to be unrestrained in order to perform his or her duties;

    (5) the motor vehicle the person is occupying is a bus or taxi;

    (6) the person is required to be restrained under section 1258 of this title; or

    (7) the person has been ordered by an enforcement officer, a firefighter, or an authorized civil authority to evacuate persons from a stricken area.

    (c) Noncompliance with the provisions of this section shall not be admissible as evidence in any civil proceeding.

    (d) Failure to wear a safety belt in violation of this section shall not constitute negligence or contributory negligence in any civil proceeding or criminal action, nor be entered as evidence to bar prosecution of a criminal offense.

    (e) This section may be enforced only if a law enforcement officer has detained the operator of a motor vehicle for another suspected traffic violation. An operator shall not be subject to the penalty established in this section unless the operator is required to pay a penalty for the primary violation.

    (f) The penalty for violation of this section shall be as follows:

    (1) $25.00 for a first violation;

    (2) $50.00 for a second violation;

    (3) $100.00 for third and subsequent violations. (Added 1993, No. 18, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1994; amended 2001, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2003, No. 28, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2004; 2005, No. 175 (Adj. Sess.), § 62; 2009, No. 150 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. June 1, 2010; 2015, No. 47, § 42.)

  • § 1281. Additional equipment

    In addition to other equipment required by this title, any school bus as described in section 4 of this title shall be equipped as follows:

    (1) A door in the rear and a door on the right side for entrance or exit purposes.

    (2) At least one fire extinguisher of a type approved by the Commissioner at all times in good and usable condition and easily accessible to the driver.

    (3) A standard first-aid kit of a type approved by the Commissioner at all times filled with necessary articles.

    (4) A hot water heater at all times capable of keeping the interior at a comfortable temperature or other type of heater approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

    (5) Adequate ventilation facilities.

    (6) At least two windows of safety glass on each side to provide interior light and so secured as to afford protection against wind and rain.

    (7) Seats securely fastened to the floor or sides of the interior and providing at least 13 inches of seat space for each child to be transported.

    (8) In addition to the foregoing, all motor vehicles in which the original seating equipment has been modified or added to must comply with the following:

    (A) All seats must be readily accessible by use of an aisle or door without interference from any other seat or seats.

    (B) A minimum of 36 inches headroom for sitting position above top of undepressed cushion line of all seats shall be provided.

    (C) A minimum of 12 inches shall be provided from the top of the undepressed cushion line to the floor.

    (D) Seats shall be covered with fire-resistant material.

    (E) Jump seats or portable seats shall not be used.

    (F) A seat beside the driver, if regular equipment or installed by the vehicle manufacturer, may be used for student seating. It shall be securely fastened to the body and shall be so constructed as not to interfere with students entering or leaving vehicle.

    (G) All seats shall have at least 12 inches overall depth.

    (H) If forward-facing seats are used, they shall be so placed that the distance from center to center measured at top center of the backs shall be not less than 26 inches.

    (I) If longitudinal seats are used, only two shall be installed against the sides of the vehicle and the distance between the front edges of seat cushions shall be at least 24 inches. (Amended 1959, No. 26, eff. Aug. 1, 1959; 1961, No. 124, eff. Aug. 1, 1961; 1965, No. 199; 1975, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 1977, No. 102, § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.)

  • § 1281a. Optional equipment

    In addition to equipment required under section 1283 of this title, any school bus as described in subdivision 4(34) of this title may be equipped with a stop arm sign with flashing red lights, of a type approved by the Commissioner, securely mounted below the left front window on the vehicle in an area approved by the Commissioner and must be visible to the driver when extended. Such sign shall not be activated unless the vehicle has stopped on the highway for the purpose of receiving or discharging public or private schoolchildren. At no time shall the sign be extended when the vehicle is in motion. (Added 1969, No. 49, § 1; amended 1975, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1977, No. 102, § 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1977.)

  • § 1282. Operator, equipment and inspection

    (a) Before a person may assume the duty of transporting school pupils in either a Type I or Type II school bus, he or she shall as a minimum:

    (1) For Type I, have a valid State of Vermont commercial driver license with a passenger endorsement and a school bus driver's endorsement or, for Type II, have a valid State of Vermont license with a school bus driver's endorsement or have a license from another jurisdiction valid for the class or type of vehicle to be driven.

    (2) Furnish the Department of Motor Vehicles or, in the case of a person licensed in another jurisdiction furnish his or her employer, a certificate signed by a licensed physician, or a certified physician assistant, or a nurse practitioner in accordance with written protocols, that he or she is, as far as can be determined by reasonable inquiry and examination, mentally and physically competent to perform his or her duties. Any newly diagnosed diabetic or established diabetic must be stabilized and must be certified by his or her personal physician that he or she has not had a hypoglycemic reaction (loss of consciousness or near loss of consciousness) for the last two years or since his or her last physical, whichever is longer. Any diabetic must be recertified every six months by his or her personal physician who must state that the patient has not had a hypoglycemic reaction during that time.

    (3) Have completed training in school bus operation, including evacuation and emergency procedures, as the Commissioner deems necessary.

    (4) Be licensed for Type I or Type II, or both, Type I being an automatic qualification for a Type II operator.

    (5) Furnish to his or her employer prior to the first date of employment as a school bus driver, a copy of his or her three-year operating record.

    (b) A school bus shall not be operated in the transportation of children to and from school unless and until it is inspected at an inspection station designated as such by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The inspection shall thoroughly cover mechanical conditions, standard equipment, extra equipment, and safety and comfort conditions all as provided in section 1281 of this title and, if the inspected vehicle meets all of these requirements, the inspection station shall give the owner or operator of the inspected vehicle a signed certificate so stating. This certificate shall be shown as soon as possible by the owner or operator to a school director in the town in which this vehicle is to be operated, and shall thereafter be carried in some easily accessible place in the vehicle. Thereafter, so long as this bus remains in this service, it must be reinspected as provided in this section during each of the following periods: July-August, November-December, and February-March. School buses of the pleasure car type, if regularly used in this service, shall display signs required in subdivision 1283(a)(1) of this title when transporting schoolchildren.

    (c)(1) A school bus shall not regularly transport more passengers than seating space of 13 inches for each child will permit.

    (2) Bus routing and seating plans shall be coordinated so as to eliminate standees when a school bus is in motion, and standees shall be permitted only in emergency situations.

    (3) There shall be no auxiliary seating accommodations such as temporary or folding jump seats in school buses.

    (d)(1) No less often than every two years, and before the start of a school year, a person licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles to assume the duty of transporting school pupils in either a Type I or Type II school bus shall furnish the employer who employs him or her as a school bus driver the following:

    (A) a certificate signed by a licensed physician, a certified physician assistant, or a nurse practitioner in accordance with written protocols, certifying that the licensee is, as far as can be determined by reasonable inquiry and examination, mentally and physically competent to perform his or her duties and that he or she meets or exceeds the minimum hearing standards, based on voice testing, as prescribed by the Commissioner; and

    (B) a certificate signed by a properly registered and authorized medical doctor, ophthalmologist, optometrist, or nurse practitioner certifying that he or she meets or exceeds the minimum vision standards as prescribed by the Commissioner.

    (2) Upon receipt of a certificate required by this subsection which indicates that the school bus driver is not mentally or physically competent or does not meet the minimum hearing or vision standards, the employer shall immediately notify the Commissioner.

    (3) The certificates required under this subsection may be valid for up to two years from the examination.

    (e) In the event the school bus driver is subject to 49 C.F.R. part 391, subpart E, the provisions of those regulations rather than the standards of this section shall apply.

    (f) Subject to State Board of Education rules, which may provide for limited idling, the operator of a school bus shall not idle the engine while waiting for children to board or to exit the vehicle at a school and shall not start the engine until ready to leave the school premises. The Board, in consultation with the Agency of Natural Resources, the Department of Health, and the Department of Motor Vehicles, shall adopt rules to implement this subsection. The rules shall set forth periods or circumstances that reasonably require the idling of the engine, including periods when it is necessary to operate defrosting, heating, or cooling equipment to ensure the health or safety of the driver or passengers or to operate auxiliary equipment; and periods when the engine is undergoing maintenance or inspection. (Amended 1961, No. 137, § 2; 1971, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 32; 1975, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 6, 7; 1985, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.); 1987, No. 209 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2; 1989, No. 33, § 1; 1989, No. 127 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. March 15, 1990; 1989, No. 239 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 4, 5; 2003, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), §  39, eff. June 9, 2004; 2007, No. 48, § 1, eff. May 25, 2007; 2015, No. 47, § 29; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 71.)

  • § 1283. Identification and equipment of school buses

    (a) Types I and II school buses shall be:

    (1) Identified with the words, "School Bus," printed in letters not less than eight inches high, located between the warning signal lamps as high as possible without impairing visibility of the lettering from both front and rear.

    (2) Painted national school bus glossy yellow, except that the hood shall be either that color or lusterless black and the fenders shall be either that color or black. For Type II school buses, the requirements of this subdivision and subdivision (a)(3) of this section shall apply to any new bus ordered on or after January 1, 2000.

    (3) Equipped with bumpers of glossy black, unless for increased night visibility they are covered with a reflective material.

    (4) Equipped with a system of signal lamps approved by the Commissioner, including an eight light system on any new or used school bus ordered on and after July 1, 1976. The driver of a Type I or a Type II school bus shall keep the alternately flashing red signal lamps lighted whenever school children are being received or discharged, and they shall be used only for that purpose. A school bus driver found in violation of this subdivision shall be guilty of a traffic violation.

    (5)(A) Equipped with a system of mirrors, if such a system is necessary to give the seated driver a view of the roadway to each side of the bus, and of the area immediately in front of the front bumper, in accordance with the following procedure: when a rod, 30 inches long, is placed upright on the ground at any point along a traverse line one foot forward of the forward most point of a school bus, and extending the width of the bus, at least seven inches of the length of the rod shall be visible to the driver, either by direct view or by means of an indirect visibility system.

    (B) In addition, equipped with an inside mirror so located as to give the driver clear vision of the interior of the bus, and an outside mirror located on each side of the bus located so as to give an unobstructed view of the road to the rear.

    (6) In compliance with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for school buses as of the date of manufacture.

    (b) Any school bus meeting the identification requirements of (a)(1)-(4) of this section that is permanently converted for use wholly for purposes other than transporting pupils to or from school, or transporting organized groups of pre-school or school age children, shall be painted a color other than national school bus glossy yellow, and shall have the stop arm, if any, and equipment required by this section removed.

    (c) Type I and Type II school buses being operated on a public highway and transporting primarily passengers other than school pupils shall have the words "School Bus" covered, removed, or otherwise concealed, and the stop arms and equipment permitted by section 1281a of this title shall not be operable through the usual controls.

    (d) No motor vehicle other than a school bus shall display the identifying equipment and signs required by this section. (Added 1975, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; amended 1977, No. 102, § 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1977; 1977, No. 180 (Adj. Sess.), eff. April 3, 1978; 1979, No. 12, eff. March 19, 1979; 1979, No. 39, § 2; 1979, No. 107 (Adj. Sess.); 1987, No. 209 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1997, No. 32, § 4; 2015, No. 47, § 30.)

  • § 1284. Vehicle maintenance

    (a) School buses shall at all times be maintained in a safe operating condition.

    (b) A systematic preventive maintenance program shall be established and records kept, which at all times shall be available for inspection by any enforcement officer.

    (c) School bus drivers shall perform daily pre-trip inspections of their vehicles and report immediately, in writing, to their supervisors, any defects or deficiencies discovered that may affect the safety of the operation of the vehicle or result in its mechanical breakdown. (Added 1975, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 9.)

  • § 1285. Pupil instruction

    At least twice during each school year, each pupil who is transported in a school bus shall be instructed by school authorities in safe riding practices, and participate in emergency evacuation drills. (Added 1975, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 10.)

  • § 1286. Penalties

    Any violation of section 1283, 1284, or 1285 of this title shall be a traffic violation as defined in chapter 24 of this title. (Added 1987, No. 209 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 1997, No. 32, § 5.)

  • § 1287. Multifunction school activity bus

    (a) A "multifunction school activity bus" is a vehicle which is used to transport students on trips other than on a fixed route between home and school, and which meets the construction and safety standards for a "multifunction school activity bus" adopted by rule by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    (b) If a school owns a multifunction school activity bus or leases one other than as provided in subdivision 4(34)(A)(vi) of this title, the driver shall be required to hold a license which includes a school bus driver's endorsement. A school bus endorsement road test may be taken in a multifunction school activity bus, but the resulting endorsement shall be restricted to the operation of the appropriately sized multifunction school activity bus. Otherwise, the endorsement shall be a Type I or Type II endorsement as appropriate to the size of the vehicle.

    (c) A multifunction school activity bus may be a color other than national school bus yellow. (Added 2005, No. 29, § 2; amended 2015, No. 50, § 9.)

  • § 1301. Emergency exits

    The owner of a motor bus, designed to carry more than seven passengers and having a closed body, shall not operate such bus or permit the same to be operated, unless it has an exit in the rear end or an exit at the rear on the opposite side from the front door thereof through which passengers may pass in case of emergency.

  • § 1302. Rubber tires on trucks; number of trailers

    (a) Motor trucks shall be equipped with rubber tires.

    (b) Not more than one trailer shall be attached to one motor truck. However, two vehicles may be towed in driveaway-towaway operations, including double saddlemount, if the operations conform with the safety regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration relative to coupling devices and towing methods as set forth in 49 C.F.R. §§ 393.70 and 393.71 of those regulations as they may from time to time be amended. As used herein, driveaway-towaway operation means any operation in which any motor vehicle or motor vehicles, new or used, constitute the commodity being transported, when one set or more of wheels of any such motor vehicle or motor vehicles are off the roadway during the course of transportation, whether or not any such motor vehicle furnishes the motive power.

    (c) Notwithstanding subsection (b) of this section, on the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways and those classes of qualifying Federal-aid Primary System highways as designated by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, commercial motor vehicle combinations consisting of a truck tractor and two trailing units may be operated with the approval of the Vermont Secretary of Transportation. (Amended 1963, No. 62, § 1, eff. April 30, 1963; 1983, No. 74, § 1, eff. April 28, 1983; 1983, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)

  • § 1303. Flares required

    A person shall not operate a motor truck, except those registered at pleasure car rates and those registered with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,001 pounds, with or without a trailer or semi-trailer attached, or a motor bus, upon a highway outside the lighted area of a town or city, unless there shall be carried in such vehicle, ready at all hours for instant use, three electric flares or three reflector type flares of a type approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. However, if the vehicle is used in the transportation of hazardous material as defined in 5 V.S.A. § 2001(a)(1), three electric flares or three reflector type flares of a type specified in this section shall be carried. (Amended 1981, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2001, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 32, eff. June 21, 2002.)

  • § 1304. Use

    If such vehicle is disabled so that it is necessary that it remain on the roadway or shoulder of the highway, the driver or other person in charge of such vehicle shall cause operating flares to be placed upon the roadway or shoulder of the highway, one approximately 100 feet in front of such vehicle, one approximately 100 feet to the rear, and one on the traffic side of the vehicle. Such flares shall remain in place until such vehicle is removed from the roadway or shoulder. (Amended 1971, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; 1981, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 1305. Mirror required

    All motor trucks and motor vehicles towing a trailer or semi-trailer shall be equipped with a mirror not less than five inches in diameter or with less than 25 square inches of reflective area so attached that the driver shall at all times have a reflected view of other vehicles approaching from the rear. The mirror shall be attached in a manner that complies with the width requirements of section 1431 of this title. The extended rear-view mirror shall be retracted or removed when not towing a trailer or semi-trailer. (Amended 2001, No. 18, § 1, eff. May 8, 2001.)

  • § 1306. Rear wheel flaps

    No person may operate or cause to be operated any bus, truck, trailer, or semi-trailer upon any highway in this State unless the bus, truck, trailer, or semi-trailer is equipped with suitable metal protectors or substantial flexible flaps behind the rearmost wheels to prevent, as far as practicable, the wheels from throwing dirt, water, or any other materials on the windshields of vehicles following or approaching. The flaps shall be of a type and size as specified by the Department of Motor Vehicles. However, this section shall not apply to farm tractors or pole trailers. (1959, No. 105, §§ 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1959; amended 1971, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 32.)

  • § 1307. Brake equipment required

    (a) Every motor vehicle, when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with brakes acting on all wheels adequate to control the movement of and to stop and hold such vehicle, including two separate means of applying the brakes to at least two wheels. If those two separate means of applying the brakes are connected in any way, they shall be so constructed that failure of any one part of the operating mechanism shall not leave the motor vehicle without brakes on at least two wheels.

    (b) Motorcycles and motor-driven cycles need only to be equipped with at least one brake which may be operated by hand or foot.

    (c) Farm-type tractors and motorized highway building equipment required to be registered need not have brakes on the wheels of the front axle.

    (d) Trucks and truck-tractors having three or more axles:

    (1) manufactured before July 25, 1980 need not have brakes on the front wheels;

    (2) manufactured between July 24, 1980 and October 27, 1986, if any brake components have been removed, must be retrofitted to replace any brake components so that the vehicle meets the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, within one year of May 16, 1990;

    (3) manufactured with at least two steerable axles, shall have brakes on at least one steerable axle, except that any such vehicle manufactured after July 1, 1992, shall be equipped with brakes on all wheels.

    (e) Trailers, semi-trailers, trailer coaches, or pole trailers of a gross weight not exceeding 3,000 pounds need not have brakes provided the total weight on, and including, the wheels of the trailer, semi-trailer, or pole trailer shall not exceed 40 percent of the gross weight of the towing vehicle when connected to the trailer, semi-trailer, or pole trailer.

    (f) Every trailer, semi-trailer, or trailer coach of a gross weight of more than 3,000 pounds but less than 6,000 pounds when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with brakes on the wheels of at least one axle, adequate to control the movement of and to stop and to hold the vehicle and so designed as to be applied by the driver of the towing motor vehicle from its cab. The brakes shall be so designed and connected that in case of an accidental break-away of the towed vehicle, the brake thereon shall be automatically applied, and remain applied for not less than 15 minutes.

    (g) Every trailer, semi-trailer, or trailer coach of a gross weight of 6,000 pounds, or more, when operated upon the highways of this State, shall be equipped with brakes on all wheels adequate to control the movement of and to stop and to hold the vehicle and so designed as to be applied by the driver of the towing motor vehicle from its cab. The brakes shall be so designed and connected that in case of an accidental break-away of the towed vehicle, the brakes thereon shall be automatically applied and remain applied for not less than 15 minutes.

    (h) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a farm trailer with a load which exceeds 3,000 pounds, nor to a motor vehicle manufactured or assembled prior to January 1, 1931, if the vehicle has brakes on at least two wheels, nor to a trailer coach with two or three axles with a gross weight in excess of 6,000 pounds manufactured prior to January 1, 1977, provided there are brakes on the wheels on one axle of a two-axle trailer coach and brakes on the wheels of two axles of a three-axle trailer coach. (Added 1963, No. 206, § 2; amended 1975, No. 213 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. April 1, 1976; 1979, No. 46, § 3, eff. April 26, 1979; 1979, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), eff. April 9, 1980; 1989, No. 182 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. May 16, 1990; 1991, No. 165 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2001, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 2015, No. 47, § 31.)

  • § 1308. Performance ability of brakes

    (a) The service brakes upon any motor truck, truck, and tractor or combination of vehicles shall be adequate to stop such vehicle or vehicles when traveling 20 miles per hour within a distance of 30 feet when upon dry asphalt or concrete pavement surface free from loose material where the grade does not exceed one percent.

    (b) Under the above conditions, the hand brake shall be adequate to hold such vehicle or vehicles stationary on any grade upon which it is operated.

    (c) All braking distances specified in this section shall apply to all vehicles mentioned, whether such vehicles are not loaded or are loaded to the maximum capacity permitted.

    (d) All brakes shall be maintained in good working order and shall be so adjusted as to operate as equally as practicable with respect to the wheels on opposite sides of the vehicle. (Added 1963, No. 206, § 3.)

  • §§ 1321-1324. Repealed. 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 20, eff. March 1, 1973.

  • § 1341. Trailer coaches-Safety chain

    In addition to a hitch, trailer coaches shall be secured to the towing vehicle, while in operation on any highway, by a safety chain. The hitch on any motor vehicle towing a trailer coach and the corresponding coupling on such coach and such safety chain shall be adequate to ensure the public safety.

  • § 1342. Fire extinguisher

    There shall be carried on each trailer coach at least one fire extinguisher of a type approved by the State Fire Marshal, in good usable condition and easily accessible. The extinguisher shall be of not less than five pounds capacity, if it is of a CO2 type, and not less than two and one-half pounds capacity, if it is of a dry chemical type. (Amended 1969, No. 38.)

  • § 1343. Repealed. 1971, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 32.

  • § 1344. Riding in trailer coaches

    No person may occupy a trailer coach while it is being moved upon a public highway. (Added 1969, No. 31, § 2.)

  • § 1361. Lights on vehicles other than motor vehicles

    Every vehicle on wheels or runners, whether stationary or in motion on a public highway, shall have attached to it a light which shall be so displayed as to be clearly visible from the front and rear during the period from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise. However, this section shall not apply to a vehicle which is designed to be propelled by hand. During the same period, towed or trailing vehicles, farm machinery, or other equipment, whether stationary or in motion on a public highway, shall have attached to them a red light or reflector which shall be so displayed as to be clearly visible from the rear, under normal atmospheric conditions, or a reflectorized slow moving vehicle symbol of a standard type approved by the Commissioner. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to affect any statute, rule, or regulation requiring lights on motor vehicles and the obligation of the owner or operator thereof. The driver of a vehicle shall be deemed the responsible party, liable to the penalty for violation hereof. (Amended 1966, No. 38 (Sp. Sess.), § 4; 1971, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 22.)

  • § 1362. Night operation

    Farm tractors, motorized highway building equipment, and road-making appliances when operated upon a public highway during the period from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise shall comply with the requirements of this title relating to head lamp and taillight requirements.


  • Subchapter 015: WEIGHT, SIZE, LOADS
  • § 1391. Tire and axle limits

    (a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a person or corporation shall not operate or cause to be operated a tractor, trailer, semi-trailer, motor truck, or any other motor vehicle without sufficient weight maintained upon the front axle of such vehicle to make such vehicle safe in operation; nor shall the maximum load on any axle of such vehicle exceed a gross weight of more than 600 pounds per inch of tire width computed in conformity with the manufacturer's designated width.

    (b) No single axle load shall be in excess of 22,400 pounds and a 10 percent tolerance shall be allowed on each single axle load, nor shall any tandem axle load be in excess of 36,000 pounds, with a 10 percent tolerance allowed, except in the case of such vehicles owned by persons to whom special permits shall be issued in accordance with the provisions of section 1400 of this title.

    (c) Unless federal law authorizes the axle load limits, tolerances, or both provided for in subsection (b) of this section to apply on those highways designated as the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways (the "interstate highways"), no single axle load on interstate highways shall be in excess of 20,000 pounds with no tolerance allowed, nor shall any tandem axle load be in excess of 34,000 pounds, with no tolerance allowed, except in the case of vehicles owned by persons to whom special permits have been issued in accordance with section 1400 of this title. (Amended 1963, No. 206, § 4; 1964, No. 4 (Sp. Sess.), eff. Feb. 27, 1964; 1971, No. 226 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 1977, No. 41, § 1, eff. April 19, 1977; 1983, No. 86, § 1; 1991, No. 72, § 4; 2009, No. 63 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Jan. 13, 2010, No. 63 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, see effective date note; 2011, No. 23, § 1, eff. May 11, 2011.)

  • § 1391a. Penalties for overweight operation

    (a) Penalties for violations of the following statutory sections shall be in accordance with the schedule established in this section:

     

        Statutory Citation     Name of Offense

        23 V.S.A. § 1391       Tire and axle limits

        23 V.S.A. § 1392       Gross limits on highways

        23 V.S.A. § 1399       Construction and maintenance equipment; fire

       apparatus

        23 V.S.A. § 1400       Permit to operate in excess of weight and size

                                           limits; State highways

        23 V.S.A § 1400a      Special local highway and bridge limits;

                                           reimbursement for damages; special permits

        23 V.S.A. § 1407       Operation of overweight vehicles

        23 V.S.A. § 1408       Operating vehicle in excess of registered capacity

    (b) Fine Schedule

    (1) For violation of each of the above statutory sections, fines shall be imposed as follows:

    $15.00 for each 1,000 lbs. or portion thereof overweight for the first 5,000 lbs. overweight;

    $30.00 for each 1,000 lbs. or portion thereof overweight when the gross overweight is more than 5,000 lbs. and less than 10,001 lbs.;

    $45.00 for each 1,000 lbs. or portion thereof overweight when the gross overweight is more than 10,000 lbs. and less than 15,001 lbs.;

    $60.00 for each 1,000 lbs. or portion thereof overweight when the gross overweight is more than 15,000 lbs. and less than 20,001 lbs.;

    $90.00 for each 1,000 lbs. or portion thereof overweight when the gross overweight is more than 20,000 lbs. and less than 25,001 lbs.; and

    $150.00 for each 1,000 lbs. or portion thereof overweight when the gross overweight is more than 25,000 lbs.

    (2) Fines for subsequent violations of subchapter 15, Article 1 of this title shall be computed in accordance with subdivision (b)(1) of this section with the following percentage increases:

    (A) upon a second conviction of a violation occurring within one year, five percent;

    (B) upon a third conviction of a violation occurring within one year, ten percent;

    (C) upon a fourth or subsequent conviction occurring within one year, 15 percent.

    (3) In the calculation of gross overweight, the weight allowed by registration or permit, whichever is greater, shall be the basis. The tolerances allowed by sections 1391, 1392, 1408, and 1410 of this title shall not be considered in the calculation of gross overweight.

    (c) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, in a prosecution for a violation of those statutes listed in subsection (a) of this section, the proper defendant shall be either the owner or lessee of the vehicle or the person who moves or operates the vehicle.

    (d) Fines imposed for violations of this section shall be deposited in the Transportation Fund, unless the fines are the result of enforcement actions on a town highway by an enforcement officer employed by or under contract with the municipality, in which case the fine shall be paid to the municipality, except for an administrative charge for each case in the amount specified in 13 V.S.A. § 7251, which shall be retained by the State. (Added 1977, No. 177 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 1, 1978; amended 1983, No. 86, § 2; 1983, No. 192 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 27, 1984; 1989, No. 51, § 43; 1993, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1995, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. April 25, 1996; 1997, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 9a; 1999, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 34; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 72.)

  • § 1392. Gross weight limits on highways

    Except as provided in section 1400 of this title, a person or corporation shall not operate or cause to be operated a motor vehicle in excess of the total weight, including vehicle, object, or contrivance and load, of:

    (1) 16,000 pounds upon any bridge with a wood floor, wood subfloor, or wood stringers on a class 3 or 4 town highway or 20,000 pounds on a bridge with wood floor, wood subfloor, or wood stringers on a class 1 or 2 town highway unless otherwise posted by the selectboard of such town.

    (2) 24,000 pounds, upon a class 2, 3, or 4 town highway or bridge with other than wood floor, in any town, incorporated village, or city.

    (3) No vehicle may exceed a gross weight in excess of 80,000 pounds unless the operator or owner of the vehicle has complied with the provisions of section 1400 of this title, or except as otherwise provided in this section.

    (4) Subject to the limit upon the weight imposed upon the highway through any single or tandem axle as set forth in section 1391  of this title, the total gross weight of vehicle with load imposed upon the highway by all axles of a vehicle or combination of axles of a vehicle shall not be in excess of the value in pounds given for the respective distance between the first and last axle of the vehicle or combination of axle spacing for vehicles measured longitudinally to the nearest foot as set forth in the following table:

     

    Distance between the       Maximum load in pounds carried in any group of two

    center of the first and    or more axles computed to the nearest 500 pounds

    center of the last axle

    of any group of two or

    more axles

                       2 axles       3 axles         4 axles          5 axles       6 axles       7 axles

    8 or less      34,000        34,000

    9                 39,000        42,500

    10               40,000        43,500

    11                                  44,000

    12                                  45,000             50,000

    13                                  45,500             50,500

    14                                  46,500             51,500

    15                                  47,000             52,000

    16                                  48,000             52,500

    17                                  48,500             53,500

    18                                  49,500             54,000

    19                                  50,000             54,500

    20                                  51,000             55,500                        66,000

    21                                  51,500             56,000                        66,500

    22                                  52,500             56,500                        67,000

    23                                  53,000             57,500                        68,000

    24                                  54,000             58,000                        68,500            74,000

    25                                  54,500             58,500                        69,000            74,500

    26                                  55,500             59,500                        69,500            75,000

    27                                  56,000             60,000                        70,000            75,500

    28                                  57,000             60,500                        71,000            76,500

    29                                  57,500             61,500                        71,500            77,000

    30                                  58,500             62,000                        72,000            77,500

    31                                  59,000             62,500                        72,500            78,000

    32                                  60,000             63,500                        73,000            78,500

    33                                                          64,000                        74,000            79,000

    34                                                          64,500                        74,500            80,000

    35                                                          65,500                        75,000            80,000

    36                                                          66,000        70,500     75,500            80,000

    37                                                          66,500        71,000     76,000            80,000

    38                                                          67,500        72,000      77,000           80,000

    39                                                          68,000        72,500      77,500                    80,000

    40                                                          68,500        73,000      78,000                    80,000

    41                                                          69,500        73,500      78,500                    80,000

    42                                                          70,000        74,000      79,000                    80,000

    43                                                                             75,000      80,000                   80,000

    44                                                                             75,500      80,000                   80,000

    45                                                                             76,000      80,000                   80,000

    46                                                                             76,500      80,000                   80,000

    47                                                                             77,500      80,000                   80,000

    48                                                                             78,000      80,000                   80,000

    49                                                                             78,500      80,000                   80,000

    50                                                                             79,000      80,000                   80,000

    51                                                                             80,000      80,000                   80,000

    (5)(A) Despite the axle load provisions of section 1391 of this title and the distance in feet between first and last axle as provided for in subdivision (4) of this section, a motor truck having three axles, if the two rear axles are both power driven and both equipped with adequate brakes, the gross weight of the three axles of the truck shall not exceed 55,000 pounds.

    (B) When application is made to register a motor truck under the provisions of this subdivision, the applicant shall submit to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles specifications as to its make, brake equipment, and manufacturer's recommended gross weight. In the Commissioner's discretion, the Commissioner may refuse registration for its operation under this subdivision if the specifications for the vehicle would not permit its safe operation when so loaded.

    (6) Despite the axle load provisions of section 1391 of this title and the distance in feet between first and last axle as provided for in subdivision (4) of this section, a motor truck having four axles, three of which are a tri-axle and at least two axles in this group being power driven and equipped with adequate brakes; the gross weight of the four axles of the truck shall not exceed 60,000 pounds, however:

    (A) No two axles in the tri-axle group shall support more than 42,000 pounds with a 10 percent tolerance;

    (B) No single axle of the tri-axle group shall support more than 22,400 pounds with a 10 percent tolerance;

    (C) The total load supported by the tri-axle group shall not exceed 54,000 pounds;

    (D) Three or more axles within a distance of 12 feet or less apart shall be considered as a tri-axle group and, if a single axle is closer than eight feet to the nearest axle of the tri-axle group, the total load shall not exceed that allowed for a tri-axle group;

    (E) Repealed.]

    (7)-(10) Repealed.]

    (11) The weights or tolerances or both as set forth in subdivisions (5) and (6) of this section shall not apply to the highways designated as portions of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways unless authorized by federal law.

    (12) Repealed.]

    (13) Despite the axle-load provisions of section 1391 of this title and the maximum gross load of subdivision (4) of this section, a special annual permit, which shall expire coincidentally with the vehicle's registration, except for vehicles not registered in Vermont in which case the permit shall become void on January 1 following date of issue, may be issued to a person or corporation operating on designated routes on the State Highway System for a fee of $415.00 for each vehicle which must be registered for a weight of 80,000 pounds. This special permit shall be issued only for a combination of vehicle and semi-trailer or trailer equipped with five or more axles, with a distance between axles which meets the minimum requirements of registering the vehicle to 80,000 pounds as allowed under subdivision (4) of this section. The maximum gross load under this special permit shall be 90,000 pounds. Unless authorized by federal law, this subdivision shall not apply to operation on the Interstate and Defense Highway System.

    (14) Despite the axle-load provisions of section 1391 of this title and the axle spacing and the maximum gross load of subdivision (4) of this section, a special annual permit, which shall expire coincidentally with the vehicle's registration, except for vehicles not registered in Vermont in which case the permit shall become void on January 1 following date of issue, may be issued to a person or corporation transporting loads on vehicles on designated routes on the State Highway System for the following fees for each vehicle unit. Unless authorized by federal law, the provisions of this subdivision regarding weight limits, tolerances, or both shall not apply to operation on the Interstate and Defense Highway System. This special permit shall be issued for the following vehicles and conditions:

    (A) 3-axle trucks with a single steering axle and a rear tandem axle which have a maximum gross weight of not more than 60,000 pounds when registered for a minimum gross weight of not more than 55,000 pounds, the permit fee shall be $156.00.

    (B) 4-axle trucks with a single steering axle and a rear tri-axle unit which have a maximum gross weight of not more than 69,000 pounds when registered for a minimum weight of 60,000 pounds, the permit fee shall be $352.00

    (C) 4-axle tractor semi-trailer or truck trailer combination with a maximum gross weight of not more than 72,000 pounds, provided the distance between the second axle of the tractor and the rear axle of the trailer is at least 24 feet measured to the nearest foot. For each foot or fraction of a foot less than 24 feet, measured to the nearest foot, a reduction of 2,000 pounds in the maximum gross weight shall be made. The permit fee shall be $15.00.

    (D) 5- or more axle tractor semi-trailer or truck trailer combination with a maximum gross weight of not more than 76,000 pounds, provided that the distance between the first and last axle of two consecutive sets of tandem axles is at least 24 feet measured to the nearest foot. For each foot or fraction of a foot less than 24 feet, measured to the nearest foot, a reduction of 2,000 pounds in the maximum gross weight shall be made. The permit fee shall be $15.00.

    (E) No single axle of a tandem axle unit shall support more than 60 percent of the total weight supported by such tandem axle unit.

    (F) No single axle of a tri-axle unit shall support more than 40 percent of the total weight supported by such tri-axle unit.

    (G) The maximum load on any axle of such vehicle shall not exceed more than 600 pounds per inch of tire width computed in conformity with the manufacturer's designated width.

    (H) A five percent tolerance shall be allowed on the gross vehicle weights allowed under permits issued pursuant to this subdivision.

    (15) Despite the axle load provisions of section 1391 of this title and the axle spacing and the maximum gross load of subdivision (4) of this section, a 5-axle tractor semi-trailer may operate on State highways with the following conditions:

    (A) For each foot or fraction of a foot less than 36 feet between the first and last axle of two consecutive sets of tandem axles, a reduction of 2,000 pounds in the maximum gross weight of 80,000 pounds shall be made.

    (B) Conditions in subdivisions (14)(D) and (F) of this section shall also apply to this subdivision, and unless authorized by federal law, this subdivision shall not apply to operation on the Interstate and Defense Highway System.

    (16) Notwithstanding the axle load provisions of section 1391 of this title and the maximum gross load of subdivision (4) of this section, a five or more axle truck tractor, semi-trailer combination, or truck trailer combination, when the load consists solely of unprocessed milk products as defined in subdivision 4(55) of this title, may be registered for and operated with a maximum gross weight of 90,000 pounds on State highways without permit, and upon posted State and town highways and on those highways designated as the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways when the vehicle has been issued a permit in compliance with the provisions of section 1400 of this title; however:

    (A) Vehicles operated pursuant to this subdivision (16) shall be subject to the same axle spacing restrictions as are applied to five or more axle vehicles registered to 80,000 pounds as set forth in subdivision (4) of this section.

    (B) On those highways designated as the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, the provisions of subsection 1391(c) of this title shall apply unless other axle load limits, tolerances, or both are authorized under federal law.

    (C) The fee for the annual permit as provided in this subdivision (16) shall be $10.00 when the fee has been paid to register the vehicle for 90,000 pounds or $382.00 when the vehicle is registered for 80,000 pounds.

    (17) Notwithstanding the gross vehicle weight provisions of subdivision (4) of this section, a truck trailer combination or truck tractor, semi-trailer combination with six or more load-bearing axles shall be allowed to bear a maximum of 99,000 pounds by special annual permit, which shall expire coincidentally with the vehicle's registration, except for vehicles not registered in Vermont in which case the permit shall become void on January 1 following the date of issue, for operating on designated routes on State and town highways, subject to the following:

    (A) The combination of vehicles must have as a minimum, a distance of 51 feet between extreme axles.

    (B) The axle weight provisions of section 1391 of this title and subdivision 1392(6) of this section shall also apply to vehicles permitted under this subdivision.

    (C) When determining the fine for a gross overweight violation of this subdivision, the fine for any portion of the first 10,000 pounds over the permitted weight shall be the same as provided in section 1391a of this title, and for overweight violations 10,001 pounds or more over the permitted weight, the fine schedule provided in section 1391a shall be doubled.

    (D) The weight permitted by this subdivision shall be allowed for foreign trucks which are registered or permitted for 99,000 pounds in a state or province which recognizes Vermont vehicles for weights consistent with this subdivision.

    (E) Unless authorized by federal law, the provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to operation on the Interstate and Defense Highway System.

    (F) The fee for the annual permit as provided in this subdivision (17) shall be $415.00 for vehicles bearing up to 90,000 pounds and $560.00 for vehicles bearing up to 99,000 pounds.

    (G) Repealed.]

    (18) The owner of any Vermont or foreign registered motor vehicle seeking permits authorized by this section shall make application for the appropriate permits and pay the appropriate permit fees.

    (19)(A) A person issued a permit under the provisions of subdivision (13), (14), (16), or (17) of this section and upon payment of a $10.00 administrative fee for each additional permit, may obtain additional permits for the same vehicle provided the additional permit is for a lesser weight and provided the vehicle or combination of vehicles meets the minimum requirements for the permit sought as set forth in this section.

    (B) A person issued a permit under the provisions of subdivision (14) of this section and upon payment of the difference in fees for each permit sought, may obtain additional permits for the same vehicle provided the vehicle or combination of vehicles meets the minimum requirements for the permit sought as set forth in this section.

    (C) Repealed.]

    (20) Repealed.]

    (21) All permits issued pursuant to this section shall be carried in the vehicle. The fine for violation of this subdivision shall be $150.00. A violation of this subdivision shall be considered an offense separate from an overweight violation. (Amended 1959, No. 63, eff. March 27, 1959; 1961, No. 94, eff. May 3, 1961; 1961, No. 281, §§ 1-5; 1963, No. 206, § 5; 1967, No. 166, eff. April 15, 1967; 1967, No. 385 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1975, No. 232 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. April 7, 1976; 1977, No. 15; 1977, No. 41, § 2, eff. April 19, 1977; 1977, No. 177 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 2-4, 12, eff. May 1, 1978; 1981, No. 172 (Adj. Sess.), § 11a; 1983, No. 86, § 3; 1983, No. 192 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 27, 1984; 1985, No. 124 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1987, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 3, 4, eff. May 13, 1988; 1987, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2; 1989, No. 168 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2, eff. May 12, 1990; 1989, No. 192 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2; 1991, No. 68, §§ 1-3, eff. June 24, 1991; 1991, No. 72, §§ 2, 3; 1995, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. April 25, 1996; 2001, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 26, eff. May 15, 2002; 2001, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 38, 39, eff. June 21, 2002; 2003, No. 70 (Adj. Sess.), § 29, eff. March 1, 2004; 2007, No. 61, § 7; 2009, No. 50, § 51; 2009, No. 63 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 2, eff. Jan. 13, 2010, § 4, see effective date note; 2011, No. 23, § 2, eff. May 11, 2011; 2015, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 42.)

  • § 1392a. Authority of Commissioner to delegate permitting functions

    The Commissioner may delegate any person as his or her agent to perform the duties set forth in sections 1392, 1400 through 1404, 1406, 1415, and 1431 of this title with respect to permits. (Added 1995, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. April 25, 1996.)

  • § 1393. Weight limits in incorporated villages and cities; adoption by towns of State limits

    (a) On all highways in an incorporated village or city, the legal load shall be as prescribed for the State Highway System, unless otherwise restricted and posted by the local authorities, as provided in this subchapter. With the approval of the Secretary of Transportation, the selectboard of a town may designate any highway in the town to carry the same legal load as specified in section 1392 of this title for State highways. When a certain highway has been approved by the Secretary as to the legal load limit, then the Secretary shall have the highway posted for the legal load limit. Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, State highway weight limits as specified in section 1392 of this title shall apply to class 1 town highways.

    (b) [Repealed.]

    (c) [Repealed.]  (Amended 1991, No. 214 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. May 27, 1992; 1993, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1995, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 2015, No. 47, § 32.)

  • § 1394. Designation of class 1 town highways

    The class 1 town highways connecting the State highways through cities, villages, or municipalities shall be designated by the State Transportation Board and marked by the State Secretary of Transportation. The State Secretary of Transportation shall have signs erected on each road which leads off the State Highway System stating the legal load of the highway leading from the State Highway System. (Amended 1975, No. 7, eff. Feb. 14, 1975.)

  • § 1395. Repealed. 1993, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 10.

  • § 1396. Special limits for bridges and highways

    (a) When, in the opinion of the Secretary of Transportation, a highway or bridge on the State Highway System or class 1 town highway, or when, in the opinion of the legislative body of a municipality, any class 2, 3, or 4 town highway or bridge under the jurisdiction of the municipality may be varied from the weight limit specified in section 1392 of this title, then the Secretary of Transportation for the State Highway System or the legislative body may designate the legal load limit for the highway or bridge. However, when the legislative body of a municipality requests in writing, the Secretary of Transportation may set the weight limit on a class 1 town highway at less than the State highway limit under section 1392 of this title, if a reasonable alternative route is available for those vehicles traveling at the State highway limit.

    (b) In making the determination as to whether a reasonable alternative route is available, the Secretary of Transportation shall, at a minimum, consider the following factors:

    (1) whether the alternative routing will reduce or relieve traffic congestion in a downtown area;

    (2) whether the alternative routing will enhance safety;

    (3) the length of the alternative route, and any increase in time made necessary by use of the alternative route;

    (4) whether an adverse effect has been created relative to the quiet enjoyment and property values of people living along the alternative route.

    (c) Any decision of the Secretary made under this section may be appealed, in writing, to the Transportation Board within 30 days of the Secretary's decision. The Transportation Board shall decide the question within 45 days of receipt of the appeal, and may take evidence or testimony. Except as otherwise provided, the designated legal load limit for the highway or bridge shall not be less than 20,000 pounds for a single traction engine, tractor, trailer, motor truck, or other motor vehicle for the State system or any class 1 or 2 town highway nor less than 16,000 pounds for any other town highway. (Amended 1993, No. 61, § 27, eff. June 3, 1993; 1993, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 1995, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 8.)

  • § 1397. Signs

    (a) When the weight limit on a highway or bridge has been adjusted by the Secretary of Transportation, the selectboard of a town, the trustees of an incorporated village, or the city council of a city, as to the legal load limit, then the Secretary, selectboard, trustees, or city council shall have each restricted highway or bridge posted for the legal load limit permitted. The notices shall be of a permanent nature and shall be placed at each end of each restricted highway in each town, village, or city affected or on the approaches to each restricted bridge. The notices shall state the legal load limit permitted to be operated over the highway or bridge.

    (b) The notices specified in subsection (a) of this section may be omitted when the restricted highway is a class 4 town highway or a class 3 town highway serving only one residence. (Amended 1991, No. 214 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. May 27, 1992; 1993, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 1995, No. 73 (Adj. Sess.), § 5.)

  • § 1398. Certified statement to be filed

    A certified statement shall be filed with the clerk in each town, village, or city in which the posting occurs, as provided in section 1397 of this title, stating the location of the highway or bridge posted, the legal load limit to which such highway or bridge is restricted, and the date of posting. If such restriction is removed at any time by the Secretary of Transportation, selectboard, trustees, or city council, a similar certified statement of the removal shall be filed with the clerk of the town, village, or city as the case may be.

  • § 1399. Construction and maintenance equipment; fire apparatus

    Nothing contained in sections 1391-1398 of this title, shall restrict the weight of snow plows, road machines, oilers, traction engines, tractors, rollers, power shovels, dump wagons, trucks, or other construction or maintenance equipment when used by any town, incorporated village, city, or state in the construction or the maintenance of any highway, provided that such construction or maintenance is performed by persons employed by or under contract with such town, incorporated village, city, or the State for this purpose. However, any operation of motorized highway building equipment or road making appliances used in construction work contracted by a town, incorporated village, city, or the State shall be unrestricted as to weight only within a construction area. Nothing contained in sections 1391-1398 of this title shall restrict the weight of municipal and volunteer fire apparatus. (Amended 1991, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.).)

  • § 1400. Permit to operate in excess of weight and size limits; State highways

    (a) A person or corporation owning or operating a traction engine, tractor, trailer, motor truck, or other motor vehicle that desires to operate it over State highways or class 1 town highways in excess of the weight and size limits provided by this subchapter shall apply to the Commissioner for a permit. In his or her discretion, with or without hearing, the Commissioner may issue to the person or corporation a permit authorizing the person to operate the traction engine, tractor, trailer, motor truck, or other motor vehicle upon State highways and class 1 town highways as he or she may designate and containing the regulation subject to which the traction engine, tractor, trailer, motor truck, or other motor vehicle is to be operated. The permit shall not be granted until satisfactory proof is furnished to the Commissioner that the traction engine, tractor, trailer, motor truck, or other motor vehicle has been registered and the prescribed fee paid for a gross weight equal to a maximum legal load limit for its class. No additional registration fee shall be payable to authorize the use of the traction engine, tractor, trailer, motor truck, or other motor vehicle in accordance with the terms of the permit. The approval may be withdrawn for cause, and may be withdrawn without cause any time after March 31 next following the date of issuance. When approval is withdrawn for cause or on March 31, the Commissioner shall forthwith revoke the permit; when approval is withdrawn otherwise he or she shall revoke the permit within one month.

    (b) The provisions of this section shall apply to any vehicle registered in another state provided the vehicle meets all weight and size requirements of this State and is registered or holds a permit in the other state for the weight that the permit is sought.

    (c) In addition, the Commissioner may issue permits to operate vehicles in excess of the size limits provided by this subchapter for operation over any class 2, class 3, or class 4 town highways except when the dimensions are such that blanket permits cannot be issued under the duly adopted rules of the Commissioner. In those instances, permits under section 1400a of this title shall be obtained.

    (d) [Repealed.]

    (e) Notwithstanding any other statute or rule to the contrary, overweight permits shall not be issued to vehicles registered in another state or province, unless that state or province issues similar permits on a reciprocal basis to vehicles registered in Vermont. (Amended 1961, No. 281, § 6; 1969, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 25, 1970; 1975, No. 232 (Adj. Sess.), § 11, eff. April 7, 1976; 1987, No. 91, § 8, eff. June 22, 1987; 1989, No. 121, § 20d; 1993, No. 27, § 7, eff. May 19, 1993; 1993, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1995, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 9, eff. April 25, 1996; 1999, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 14; 2013, No. 189 (Adj. Sess.), § 18; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 73.)

  • § 1400a. Special local highway and bridge limits; reimbursement for damages; special permits

    (a) A person or corporation owning or operating a traction engine, tractor trailer, motor truck, or other motor vehicle that desires to operate it in excess of the weight limits provided in this subchapter over highways and bridges under the jurisdiction of a municipality with the exception of class 1 town highways and subject to the provisions of subsection 1400(c) of this title shall make application for a permit to the appropriate legislative body, or its designee.

    (b) The application form for such a permit shall be of a uniform type, and shall be developed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, after consulting with municipal officials and representatives of the State's trucking industry.

    (c)(1) The selectboard, trustees, or the mayor are authorized to accept for the municipality compensation commensurate with the extra wear or maintenance required on the highway traveled over or on any bridge by reason of the overweight allowed by any permit approved by them or any exemption provided under section 1400d of this title, which shall be used for the maintenance of highways and bridges within the town, village, or city. The following factors, at a minimum, shall be taken into consideration when determining the amount of compensation due:

    (A) the amount of weight allowed in excess of the normal limit;

    (B) the configuration and number of axles of the vehicle involved;

    (C) the number and length of trips the vehicle will be making;

    (D) the condition of the highway before and after use by the vehicle, and costs associated with any needed repair.

    (2) If the agreement for the compensation to be paid is in writing, failure on the part of the applicant to pay the sum or sums agreed upon shall be sufficient cause for the selectboard, trustees, or mayor to withdraw approval for the permit. A fee not in excess of $5.00 may be charged for the written approval of a municipality furnished under this section.

    (d) A $5.00 fee for administration of permits imposed under this section shall be for the period expiring March 31 of each year. As an alternative, upon payment of an administrative fee of $10.00, an applicant may obtain a permit to operate all of his or her registered vehicles in that municipality, under the conditions of the permit, for the period of the permit. In the event a fleet permit is obtained, individual permits need not be carried in each vehicle permitted. (Added 1993, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; amended 1995, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 10, eff. April 25, 1996; 2003, No. 56, § 54, eff. June 4, 2003; 2003, No. 109 (Adj. Sess.), § 10.)

  • § 1400b. Filing of restrictions, publication

    (a) Any municipality which has enacted special weight limits which are other than State legal limits for highways or bridges within its jurisdiction shall file a complete copy of the limitations with the Department of Motor Vehicles not later than February 10 of each year. The information filed shall contain a concise listing of each highway or bridge posted, the time of the year the restrictions apply, weight limitations in effect on that highway or bridge, and the name, address, and telephone number of the principal person or persons responsible for issuing the local permit. Additions or deletions to the listing may be made from time to time, as required, by filing with the Department.

    (b) Any special municipal weight limits on highways or bridges shall be unenforceable unless they are on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles within three working days of the date of posting. It shall be the responsibility of the municipality to keep records documenting the time and date a highway or bridge is posted, and to keep current restrictions on file with the Department. The Department may prescribe the format which is to be used when filing restrictions under this section.

    (c) The Department shall publish, on an annual basis, a list of municipal highways or bridges and their current weight limits. This publication shall be based on the information submitted by the municipalities under subsection (a) of this section, as well as information available through the Agency of Transportation, and shall be available to the public, at a charge not in excess of $25.00, on or before April 1 of each year.

    (d) The Department shall also publish, on a quarterly basis, a periodic update of current weight limits for municipal highways and bridges, and shall make that available to the general public at a cost of not more than $5.00.

    (e) Any person may request information on specific municipalities from the Department, and shall pay the Department a fee of $3.00 per request. A single request shall be made for information on each municipality. In the event nothing is filed by a particular municipality, the Department shall provide that information, in written form, and charge the $3.00 fee.

    (f) The Commissioner may require prepayments for information requested pursuant to this section. (Added 1993, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. Jan. 1, 1995.)

  • § 1400c. Gross limits on town highways and bridges

    When a town bridge or highway is posted for State limits, the gross weight limits on town highways and bridges shall be the weight allowed by the State, including any additional weight allowed by permit. (Added 1993, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 8.)

  • § 1400d. Agricultural service vehicles

    (a) An agricultural service vehicle, as defined in subdivision 4(71) of this title, shall be exempt from the provisions of sections 1400 and 1400a of this title if the gross weight does not exceed 60,000 pounds.

    (b) Municipalities shall not be liable for injuries or damages to agricultural service vehicles or their operators that result from crossing a posted bridge with an agricultural service vehicle that weighs more than the posted weight limit. (Added 2003, No. 109, (Adj. Sess.), § 9.)

  • § 1401. Contents of permit

    (a) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall incorporate in the permit such descriptive matter as to the highways to be traveled over, his or her restrictions as to width and character of the wheels of such tractor, trailer, motor truck, or other motor vehicle, and such other regulations as in his or her judgment seem most conducive to a proper use of the highways.

    (b) The Commissioner shall adopt rules under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 governing the conditions to be incorporated in the permit. These rules shall also assign each condition to one of three categories, depending on the seriousness of a violation of the condition.

    (c) Violation of a rule adopted under this section shall constitute a traffic violation.

    (d) A person who violates a rule adopted under this section shall be subject to the following penalties: $100.00 for a Category I violation; $200.00 for a Category II violation; and $300.00 for a Category III violation. (Amended 1969, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. March 25, 1970; 1997, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 9b, eff. Aug. 1, 1998.)

  • § 1402. Overweight, width, height, and length permits; fees

    (a) Overweight, overwidth, indivisible overlength, and overheight permits. Overweight, overwidth, indivisible overlength, and overheight permits shall be signed by the Commissioner or by his or her agent and a copy shall be kept in the office of the Commissioner or in a location approved by the Commissioner. Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a copy shall also be available in the towing vehicle and must be available for inspection on demand of a law enforcement officer. Before operating a traction engine, tractor, trailer, motor truck, or other motor vehicle, the person to whom a permit to operate in excess of the weight, width, indivisible overlength, and height limits established by this title is granted shall pay a fee of $40.00 for each single trip permit or $112.00 for a blanket permit, except that the fee for a fleet blanket permit shall be $112.00 for the first unit and $6.00 for each unit thereafter. At the option of a carrier, an annual permit for the entire fleet, to operate over any approved route, may be obtained for $112.00 for the first tractor and $6.00 for each additional tractor, up to a maximum fee of $1,000.00. The fee for a fleet permit shall be based on the entire number of tractors owned by the applicant. An applicant for a fleet permit may apply for any number of specific routes, each of which shall be reviewed with regard to the characteristics of the route and the type of equipment operated by the applicant. When the weight or size of the vehicle-load are considered sufficiently excessive for the routing requested, the Agency of Transportation shall, on request of the Commissioner, conduct an engineering inspection of the vehicle-load and route, for which a fee of $300.00 will be added to the cost of the permit if the load is a manufactured home. For all other loads of any size or with gross weight limits less than 150,000 pounds, the fee shall be $800.00 for any engineering inspection that requires up to eight hours to conduct. If the inspection requires more than eight hours to conduct, the fee shall be $800.00 plus $60.00 per hour for each additional hour required. If the vehicle and load weigh 150,000 pounds or more but not more than 200,000 pounds, the engineering inspection fee shall be $2,000.00. If the vehicle and load weigh more than 200,000 pounds but not more than 250,000 pounds, the engineering inspection fee shall be $5,000.00. If the vehicle and load weigh more than 250,000 pounds, the engineering inspection fee shall be $10,000.00. The study must be completed prior to the permit being issued. Prior to the issuance of a permit, an applicant whose vehicle weighs 150,000 pounds or more, or is 15 or more feet in width or height, shall file with the Commissioner a special certificate of insurance showing minimum coverage of $250,000.00 for death or injury to one person, $500,000.00 for death or injury to two or more persons, and $250,000.00 for property damage, all arising out of any one crash.

    (b) Overlength permits. Except as provided in subsections 1432(c) and (e) of this title, it shall be necessary to obtain an overlength permit as follows:

    (1) For vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer longer than 75 feet, anywhere in the State on highways approved by the Agency of Transportation. In such cases, the vehicle may be operated with a single trip overlength permit issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles for a fee of $28.00. If the vehicle is 100 feet or more in length, the permit applicant shall file with the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, a special certificate of insurance showing minimum coverage of $250,000.00 for death or injury to one person, $500,000.00 for death or injury to two or more persons, and $250,000.00 for property damage, all arising out of any one crash.

    (2) [Repealed.]

    (c) Prepayment of permit fees. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may accept prepayments of fees under section 1400 of this title. A prepayment shall be credited to the account of the person making the prepayment and the account shall be reduced to the extent of any fees due from that person under this section; provided, however, fees may not be charged to the account in excess of the account balance. Upon oral application of any person having prepaid fees, the Commissioner may issue a permit with an identifying number, and the permit shall become effective immediately. Upon application, the Commissioner shall return any unused portion of the prepayment to the person originally making the prepayment.

    (d) [Repealed.]

    (e)(1) The Commissioner may issue an annual permit to allow the transportation of a so-called "low-bed" trailer. A "low-bed" trailer is defined as a trailer manufactured for the primary purpose of carrying heavy equipment on a flat-surfaced deck, which deck is at a height equal to or lower than the top of the rear axle group.

    (2) A blanket permit may be obtained for an annual fee of $275.00 per unit, provided the total vehicle length does not exceed 75 feet, does not exceed a loaded width of 12’6", does not exceed a total weight of 108,000 lbs., and has a height not exceeding 14 feet.

    (3) Warning signs and flags shall be required if the vehicle exceeds 75 feet in length, or exceeds 8’6" in width.

    (4) [Repealed.]

    (f) A single trip permit issued under this section shall be valid for seven business days. (Amended 1959, No. 106, eff. April 14, 1959; 1969, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 25, 1970; 1987, No. 95, § 2, eff. June 23, 1987; 1989, No. 51, § 44; 1995, No. 47, §§ 11, 12, eff. April 20, 1995; 1995, No. 183 (Adj. Sess.), § 18m, eff. May 22, 1996; 1997, No. 46, §§ 1-3; 1999, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 15, eff. Aug. 1, 2000; 2003, No. 70 (Adj. Sess.), § 30, eff. March 1, 2004; 2007, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 2009, No. 50, § 52; 2009, No. 123 (Adj. Sess.), § 56; 2013, No. 189 (Adj. Sess.), § 19; 2015, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 43; 2017, No. 71, § 15, eff. June 8, 2017.)

  • § 1403. Expiration or revocation

    Blanket permits shall expire at the same time as the vehicle's registration but may be revoked for cause by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles with or without hearing. (Amended 1969, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. March 25, 1970; 1987, No. 95, § 1, eff. June 23, 1987; 2003, No. 109 (Adj. Sess.), § 11.)

  • § 1404. Bond required

    In his or her discretion, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall require the applicant to file a bond of certificate of insurance in such amount as in his or her judgment seems adequate to cover any probable damage that may be occasioned by the use and operation of such tractor, trailer, motor truck, or other motor vehicle, executed by the applicant as principal and by a surety company authorized to transact business in this State as surety, conditional to pay all injuries or damages sustained by the State or by any municipality or person in consequence of the failure to comply with the provisions of such permit, or the excessive weight allowed by such permit, or the careless, negligent, or unlawful act of such principal or his or her agents or servants. (Amended 1969, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. March 25, 1970.)

  • § 1405. Actions against the bond

    The State, a person, or a municipal corporation injured by any careless, negligent, or unlawful act of or failure of the principal or his or her agents or servants, to comply with the provisions of such permit or on account of the injury to a highway, bridge, or culvert because of the excessive weight allowed by such permit, and, if the death of any person is caused by any careless, negligent, or unlawful act as aforesaid, the executor or administrator shall have a right of action in the name of the obligee named in such bond for his or her, its, or their use and benefits against the principal and surety named in such bond, and may prosecute the same to final judgment and execution. (Amended 1961, No. 281, § 7.)

  • § 1406. Federally owned vehicles

    In case of oilers, tractors, rollers, dump wagons, and other road machinery and trucks, tractors, and trailers owned and operated by the federal government, a permit may be issued by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. The furnishing of a bond in such cases shall be in the discretion of such Commissioner. (Amended 1969, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. March 25, 1970.)

  • § 1407. Operation of overweight vehicles

    A motor truck, truck tractor, tractor, trailer, or other vehicle, machine, or contrivance, shall not be operated over the highways of the State of Vermont in violation of any provision of this title relative to the weight of the vehicle, machine, or contrivance. In a prosecution for these violations, the proper defendant shall be either the owner or lessee of the vehicle, machine, or contrivance or the person who moves or operates the vehicle, machine, or contrivance. (Amended 1971, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 23; 1995, No. 89 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 1408. Operating vehicle in excess of registered capacity

    A motor truck, tractor, trailer, or other vehicle, machine, or contrivance shall not be operated or moved upon any highway with a gross weight, including load and vehicle, greater than the total registered weight of the vehicle and the declared registered capacity thereof and a tolerance of five percent. In a prosecution for a violation of this section, the proper defendant shall be either the owner or lessee of the vehicle, machine, or contrivance or the person who operates the vehicle, machine, or contrivance. This section shall not apply to the operation of a motor truck, tractor, trailer, or other vehicle, machine, or contrivance while being operated strictly in compliance with and in conformity to the provisions of a permit so to do issued by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles as otherwise provided in this title. (Amended 1959, No. 97, eff. April 8, 1959; 1969, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. March 25, 1970; 1971, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 24; 1983, No. 86, § 4; 1995, No. 89 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)

  • § 1409. Weighing of vehicles

    Any uniformed police officer, having reason to believe that the weight of the vehicle and load is unlawful, may stop such motor vehicles up to one hour for the purpose of determining the weight of said vehicle and load. If the operator does not wish to submit to the weighing of such vehicle and load by means of portable scales, he or she may demand that such vehicle be weighed at the nearest public scales reasonably available; however, if public scales are not reasonably available, the officer may require the vehicle to be weighed on portable scales. The officer may demand that the vehicle be weighed at the nearest public scales reasonably available. (Amended 1977, No. 177 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. May 1, 1978; 1983, No. 86, § 5.)

  • § 1410. Removal of overloads

    (a)(1) When the gross weight of such vehicle and load is determined to be at least 10,000 lbs. in excess of the weight limits for such trucks on such highways, the enforcement officer may require that such portion of the load that is found to be in excess of these weights be removed.

    (2) When it is determined that portions of these loads referred to in this section must be removed, the truck may be driven to a suitable place for such removal. The enforcement officer may require that portions to be removed onto another motor vehicle.

    (b) Dispositions of property referred to in subsection (a) of this section shall be treated under the provisions of section 1413 of this title. (Amended 1983, No. 86, § 6.)

  • § 1411. Refusal to weigh vehicle or remove overload

    An operator of a motor truck shall not fail or refuse to stop or submit the vehicle and load to weighing, or fail or refuse when directed by an officer upon weighing of the vehicle to stop the vehicle and otherwise comply with the provisions of sections 1409 and 1410 of this title. A person violating this section or section 1410 shall be fined not less than $500.00 nor more than $2500.00 and, at the time of the violation, the officer may impound the vehicle and have it weighed and after weighing and upon payment of towing charges, the vehicle shall be released or disposed of under the provisions of section 1413 of this title. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1412 of this title, a violator may have sanctions imposed under the provisions of this section and be additionally fined for violation of other weight regulations provided for by this subchapter. (Amended 1971, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 25; 1977, No. 177 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. May 1, 1978; 1983, No. 86, § 7.)

  • § 1412. Multiple weight violations

    No more than one overweight violation per vehicle shall be written by an enforcement officer at any single incident. (Added 1977, No. 177 (Adj. Sess.), § 11, eff. May 1, 1978.)

  • § 1413. Disposition of impounded vehicles and loads

    (a) Rights of owner of load. The title to the load on an impounded vehicle or combination remains in the owner who may repossess the load at any time upon presentation of proof of ownership to the sheriff. If the load spoils during impoundment the loss shall be on the owner subject to any right of recovery of damages that the owner may have against the owner of the vehicle or combination or against any other party, and the costs of disposition of the load shall be recoverable in addition to the costs of prosecution.

    (b) Sale of unclaimed vehicle or load. In case any impounded vehicle or combination is unredeemed, or the load is unclaimed, for a period of 60 days after notice of impoundment is given, it shall be sold at a public sale by the sheriff upon order of the issuing authority and after 10 days notice of sale to the owners, lienholders, or secured parties of the vehicle or load except that if the sheriff determines it to be necessary to preserve their value, goods which may spoil may be sold in any commercially reasonable manner prior to expiration of the 60-day period and, if impractical to do so, without giving notice to the owners, lienholders, or secured parties.

    (c) Disposition of proceeds of sale. The proceeds of sale shall first be applied to the payment of the fine and costs, and secondly, to the payment of the encumbrances. The balance shall be remitted to the owner. (Added 1983, No. 86, § 9.)

  • § 1414. Reciprocal enforcement

    (a) It is the intent of the General Assembly that the Commissioner make a reasonable effort to reach agreement with the New England states and New York with respect to a uniform size and weight of motor vehicles to be allowed to operate on the public highways of those jurisdictions and Vermont. The agreement should, to the extent possible, find a balance between the free flow of commerce and the safety of the users on the highways.

    (b) The Commissioner may enter into agreements with other states, the District of Columbia, and Canadian provinces providing for the reciprocal enforcement of the overweight or over dimension vehicle permit laws of those jurisdictions entering into the agreement. The agreement is allowed to conflict with sections 1400 through 1408 of this title provided that the overall effect of the interstate agreement maintains standards that are generally comparable to those presently in effect in Vermont, in which case the terms of the agreement shall govern as to vehicles issued permits pursuant to the agreement. (Added 1987, No. 95, § 1, eff. June 23, 1987; amended 1997, No. 46, § 4.)

  • § 1415. Transfer of weight permits

    (a) Weight permits issued pursuant to this subchapter may be transferred from one vehicle to another vehicle. If the permit fee of the motor vehicle for which a permit is sought is less than the permit fee for the transferred motor vehicle, the Commissioner shall certify to the Commissioner of Finance and Management the facts pertinent to the difference of the permit fees, giving the name of the owner of the motor vehicle, his or her address, the amount of the original permit fee paid, the date of application for transfer, and the correct fee for the motor vehicle for which the permit is sought. The Commissioner of Finance and Management shall issue his or her warrant in favor of the owner for the percent of the difference in permit fees as the unexpired term bears to the entire permit period. If the permit fee for the motor vehicle for which a permit is sought is greater than the permit issued to the transferred vehicle, the permit applicant shall pay the difference based on the prorated term remaining on the permit. If a transfer of the permit is made before the 15th day of any month, the transfer shall be considered as having been made on the first day of the month. If the transfer of a permit is made on or after the 15th day of any month, the transfer shall be considered as having been made on the first day of the month following the application for transfer.

    (b) Transfers issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall only be permitted if the applicant or an authorized representative appears at the Department of Motor Vehicles' office in Montpelier. Such transfers shall be permitted by mail, if the transfer is between vehicles registered at the same weight. (Added 1987, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)

  • § 1431. Height and width limits

    (a) Except for the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, motor vehicles and loads shall not exceed eight and one-half feet in width or 13 feet six inches in height. The term width shall mean the total width of the vehicle and load, excluding safety devices as determined by the Commissioner which may extend up to three inches on each side of the vehicle. The height and width limits of this section shall not apply to snow plows, road machines, oilers, traction engines, tractors, rollers, power shovels, dump wagons, trucks, highway building equipment, and road-making appliances employed on highway maintenance or on highway construction when operated within a construction area, or to vehicles employed by municipalities for transportation and disposal of nontoxic residual waste sludge from wastewater and water treatment facilities while used for those purposes, nor shall the limits apply to traction engines, tractor, trailer, or motor trucks operated on a public highway, under a permit from the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles as provided in section 1400 of this title. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the use of the stop arm described in section 1281a of this title and no permit shall be required.

    (b) In his or her discretion, with or without hearing, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, or his or her agent, upon application, may issue annually to dealers in farm tractors or other farm implements overwidth permits to transport or draw upon a highway such farm implements as are more than eight and one-half feet in width but not more than 13 feet in width, when such operation is necessary to the conduct of such business, during the period from sunrise to sunset, provided at least two red flags not smaller than 12 inches square be displayed on the left front and rear of each vehicle or implement or combination thereof in such manner as to be clearly visible from the front and rear for a distance of at least 500 feet, except that no vehicles, implements, or combinations thereof shall be operated on any highway after 10:00 a.m. on any Sunday or legal holiday, except on trips not in excess of two miles, nor upon any highway at any time on which operation is prohibited by order of the Commissioner.

    (c) The total outside width of a motor home, as defined in 32 V.S.A. § 8902(11), or a trailer coach as defined in subdivision 4(41) of this title, may exceed eight and one-half feet if the excess width is attributable to an appurtenance that extends no more than six inches beyond the body of the vehicle. The term "appurtenance" does not include any item that is temporarily affixed to the exterior of the vehicle by the vehicle's owner for the purpose of transporting the item from one location to another, but does include the following:

    (1) an awning and its support hardware; and

    (2) any appendage that is intended to be an integral part of a motor home or trailer coach that is installed by a manufacturer or dealer.

    (d) A person, firm, or corporation whose land is divided by a public highway may operate across the highway, at approximate right angles to the centerline, an unregistered vehicle with or without a load having width in excess of eight and one-half feet, or a height in excess of 13 feet six inches, and which, if used on highway construction, would be defined as motorized highway building equipment, provided that the person, firm, or corporation shall first have applied to and received from the selectboard of the town or the aldermen or city council of the city in which the land and highway are located a permit in writing specifying the vehicle covered and the point where, time when, and under what conditions such crossing may be made, and provided further that the person, firm, or corporation shall have applied to and received from the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles a certificate in writing that the vehicle listed in the permit issued by the selectboard or aldermen or city council meets the conditions herein set forth as to type and size and, further, that the operation thereof across the highway will not damage the highway. The Commissioner may impose such conditions regarding size of load or highway surface protection as he or she deems necessary. A fee of $35.00 shall be paid to the town or city for each permit and the permit shall not cover more than one vehicle. The permit shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of issue. A similar fee of $35.00 shall be paid to the State for each certificate issued by the Commissioner and the certificate shall not cover more than one vehicle and shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of issue. Provided that the terms and conditions are complied with, no registration of the vehicle shall be required under any other section of this title, nor shall permits of any kind or type be required under any other section of this title. (Amended 1961, No. 286, § 5, eff. Aug. 1, 1961; 1963, No. 62, § 2, eff. April 30, 1963; 1969, No. 49, § 2; 1969, No. 212 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. March 25, 1970; 1971, No. 55, § 1; 1975, No. 213 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 1, 1976; 1983, No. 74, § 4, eff. April 28, 1983; 1987, No. 95, § 4, eff. June 23, 1987; 2001, No. 18, § 2, eff. May 8, 2001; 2015, No. 47, § 33.)

  • § 1432. Length of vehicles

    (a) Operation of vehicles with or without a trailer or semitrailer. No motor vehicle without a trailer or semitrailer attached, which is longer than 46 feet overall, shall be operated upon any highway except under special permission from the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. A motor vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer shall be operated, with regard to the length of the vehicle, pursuant to this section. If there is a trailer or semitrailer, the distance between the kingpin of the semitrailer to the center of the rearmost axle group shall not exceed 41 feet. An "axle group" is defined as two or more axles where the centers of all the axles are spaced at an equal distance apart.

    (1) Vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer not exceeding 75 feet. If the overall length of a vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer does not exceed 75 feet, it may be operated without a permit.

    (2) A receiver or shipper of goods located in Vermont may request from the Agency of Transportation access to a State highway for a commercial motor vehicle where the overall length exceeds 75 feet. If the total vehicle length is in excess of 75 feet or the distance from the steering axle to the rearmost tractor axle is longer than 25 feet, a permit may be requested from the Commissioner. In that event, the Agency of Transportation shall review the route or routes requested, making its determination for approval based on safety and engineering considerations, after considering input from local government and regional planning commissions or the metropolitan planning organization. The Agency shall maintain consistency in its application of acceptable highway geometry when approving other routes. The Agency may authorize safety precautions on these highways, if warranted, which shall include precautionary signage, intelligent transportation system signage, special speed limits, and use of flashing lights.

    (3) Vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer longer than 75 feet. If the overall length of a vehicle with a trailer or semitrailer is longer than 75 feet, a permit may be issued pursuant to subdivision 1402(b)(1) of this title.

    (b) Rear-end protective devices on trailers. A trailer or semitrailer not in excess of 53 feet may be operated provided the semitrailer is equipped with a rear-end protective device of substantial construction consisting of a continuous lateral beam extending to within four inches of the lateral extremities of the semitrailer and located not more than 22 inches from the surface as measured with the vehicle empty and on a level surface.

    (c) Operation on U.S. Route 4. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, vehicles with a trailer or semitrailer which are longer than 68 feet but not longer than 75 feet may be operated with a single or multiple trip overlength permit issued at no cost by the Department of Motor Vehicles or, for a fee, by an entity authorized in subsection 1400(d) of this title on U.S. Route 4 from the New Hampshire state line to the junction of VT Route 100 south, provided the distance from the kingpin of the semitrailer to the center of the rearmost axle group is not greater than 41 feet.

    (d) Operation of pole semitrailers. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prevent the operation of so-called pole dinkeys or pole semitrailers when being used to support the ends of poles, timbers, pipes, or structural members capable, generally, of sustaining themselves as beams between the supporting connections, the overall length of which may exceed 75 feet under special permission from the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

    (e) Operation on Interstate highways. Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, on the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways and those classes of qualifying Federal-aid Primary System highways as designated by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and on highways leading to or from the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways for a distance of one mile, unless the Agency of Transportation finds the use of a specific highway to be unsafe, no overall length limits for tractor-semitrailer or tractor semitrailer-trailer combination shall apply. On these highways, no semitrailer in a tractor-semitrailer combination longer than 53 feet and no trailer or semitrailer in a tractor-semitrailer-trailer combination longer than 28 feet shall be operated. However, the limits established by this section shall not be construed in such a manner as to prohibit the use of semitrailers in a tractor-semitrailer combination of such dimensions as were in actual and lawful use in this State on December 1, 1982.

    (f) [Repealed.]  (Amended 1959, No. 99; 1963, No. 62, § 3, eff. April 30, 1963; 1971, No. 55, § 2; 1973, No. 15; 1977, No. 41, § 3, eff. April 19, 1977; 1983, No. 74, § 2, eff. April 28, 1983; 1985, No. 124 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. April 18, 1986; 1987, No. 95, § 5, eff. June 23, 1987; 1987, No. 157 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 27, 1988; 1991, No. 65, eff. June 18, 1991; 1995, No. 183 (Adj. Sess.), § 18g, eff. May 22, 1996; 1997, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 9c; 1999, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 17, eff. Aug. 1, 2000; 2007, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 43; 2009, No. 50, § 102; 2011, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2017, No. 71, § 16, eff. June 8, 2017.)

  • § 1433. Reasonable access

    Reasonable access, within the meaning of 19 V.S.A. § 1111, shall be permitted to those vehicles operating pursuant to the provisions of subsections 1302(c) and 1432(e) of this title between the Interstate and Defense Highway System and any other qualifying Federal-aid Primary System highways, as designated by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Vermont Secretary of Transportation, and terminals, facilities for food, fuel, repairs, and rest, and points of loading and unloading for household goods carriers. The Vermont Secretary of Transportation shall by rule pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 either designate those portions of the public highways over which such reasonable access shall be permitted or provide for the issuance of permits to allow reasonable access. However, permits shall not be required for tractor-semi-trailer combinations engaged in the transportation of automobiles and having provision for transporting motor vehicles on part of the power unit provided the combinations comply with the provisions of subsection 1432(a) of this title. (Added 1983, No. 74, § 3, eff. April 28, 1983; amended 1987, No. 95, § 6, eff. June 23, 1987; 2015, No. 47, § 35.)

  • § 1434. Penalties

    (a) The operation of a vehicle on a public highway in excess of the height, width, or length limits as prescribed in section 1431 or 1432 of this title without first obtaining a permit to operate the vehicle, whether or not a permit is available, shall be a traffic violation as defined in section 2302 of this title. A violation shall be punishable by a fine of $300.00 for a first offense, $600.00 for a second offense within a two-year period, and $800.00 for a third or subsequent offense within a two-year period.

    (b) The operation of a vehicle on a public highway in excess of the legal height, width, or length as prescribed in section 1431 or 1432 of this title in violation of the terms of a permit issued in conformance with section 1400 of this title shall be a traffic violation as defined in section 2302 of this title and shall be punishable by a fine of $300.00 for a first offense, $600.00 for a second offense within a two-year period, and $800.00 for a third or subsequent offense within a two-year period.

    (c) In the case of a violation under subsection (a) of this section, the Commissioner may refuse to issue a permit to the violator under section 1400 of this title for a period not to exceed three months, if the owner or lessee commits four or more violations within a two-year period. If the holder of a permit commits four or more violations under subsection (b) of this section within a two-year period, the Commissioner may suspend, for a period not to exceed three months, any permit issued to the violator under section 1400 of this title. For the purposes of this section, the owner or lessee of the vehicle shall be considered the holder of, or applicant for, the permit. (Added 1995, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 11, eff. April 25, 1996; amended 1997, No. 46, § 5; 1997, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 9e; 2015, No. 47, § 34.)

  • § 1435. Enforcement plan

    It is the intention of the General Assembly that the Departments of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety, in conjunction with other law enforcement entities throughout the State, produce a coordinated statewide truck enforcement, safety, and training plan. The plan shall provide for a common philosophy and approach to commercial vehicle enforcement, while recognizing the different focus and responsibilities of each entity. The plan shall also provide for training of commercial vehicle enforcement officers as well as a process to ensure effective communication of information between enforcement personnel, the over dimension permitting unit, and members of the trucking industry. In addition, the plan shall provide for periodic informational meetings with municipalities, groups of municipalities, regional entities, and the general public. (Added 1997, No. 46, § 6; amended 1997, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 9g.)

  • § 1436. Statewide Municipal Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Fund

    A Statewide Municipal Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Fund is created for the purpose of supporting commercial motor vehicle law enforcement initiatives in the State. The Fund shall be administered by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. Municipalities may apply to the Commissioner on forms supplied by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Funds distributed to municipalities, which shall not exceed $12,000.00 annually per municipality under this section, shall be used for training of municipal law enforcement officers for commercial motor vehicle enforcement, temporary replacement officers for those municipal law enforcement officers receiving commercial motor vehicle enforcement training, and other municipal commercial motor vehicle enforcement uses as determined by the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall ensure that the activities of the commercial motor vehicle law enforcement initiative are consistent with those of the enforcement plan produced pursuant to section 1435 of this title. (Added 1997, No. 120 (Adj. Sess.), § 9h; amended 1999, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 18; 2003, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 52, eff. June 9, 2004.)

  • § 1451. Loads on passenger cars

    No person shall operate a passenger type motor vehicle upon any highway with any load carried thereon extending beyond the line of the fenders on the left side of such vehicle nor extending more than six inches beyond the line of the fenders on the right side thereof, nor when any baggage or other object is carried in a way to obscure either number plate or any light on such vehicle.

  • § 1452. Securing loads of wood or wood products

    (a) Definitions. As used in this section the following terms shall have meanings as defined:

    (1) Load: the total of wood or wood products being carried.

    (2) Tier: the total vertical height of all wood or wood products arranged individually or in layers, or in bundles placed one above the other.

    (3) Binding: chain, wire rope, steel cable, steel strapping, or nylon webbing together with tightening device.

    (b) A person may not operate a motor truck, truck tractor, trailer, or semi-trailer on a public highway carrying wood or wood products unless the load is securely fastened to the vehicle and each load or tier up to a length of five feet inclusive shall be fastened with one binding; if the length exceeds five feet but does not exceed 10 feet, it shall be fastened with two bindings; if the length exceeds 10 feet, it shall be fastened with three bindings.

    (c) The ends of any bindings, whether the vehicle is loaded or unloaded, shall be so secured that loose ends do not endanger pedestrians, motorists, or other vehicles using the highway.

    (d) Any bindings used hereunder shall have a capacity of at least 2,750 pounds working load limit as rated by the manufacturer.

    (e) This section shall not be construed to include a truck transporting lumber, wood, or sawmill wastes, when transported in a box-type body with solid sides, provided that such truck is not loaded higher than its side-boards. (Amended 1967, No. 326 (Adj. Sess.); 1971, No. 118, eff. April 26, 1971.)

  • § 1453. Baled products

    (a)(1) A person shall not operate a motor vehicle loaded with baled hay or straw or other baled products with any portion of the load extending beyond the front end of the vehicle bed; with the exception that a load extension is permitted beyond the front end of a truck bed, over the driver's compartment or sleeping berth, provided this portion of the load is supported by permanent and substantial steel frame construction. Loads of baled hay, straw, or other baled products shall be solidly packed while in transit.

    (2) Such loads unless supported by substantially constructed sideboards or rack type bodies shall be fastened securely to the vehicle by not less than two longitudinal binders; and by a cross binder for each tier of baled hay or straw or other baled products; such binders to be of sufficient strength to hold such load in place. Provided however, that the loads may be transported without sideboards and the binders specified herein if fastened by any commercial binding device equal or superior to the provisions set forth in this section. Such commercial binding device shall be approved by the Motor Vehicle Department.

    (b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to a farmer engaged in farming operations where such transportation requires that he or she use the public highways; provided, however, that nothing herein shall relieve the farmer from loading and transporting the loads in a reasonably safe manner.

    (c) Any enforcement officer may stop and inspect vehicles in respect to compliance with the provisions of this section, and if it is found that the load is being transported in violation of this section, the enforcement officer may arrest without warrant and shall prohibit the operator of such vehicle from continuing en route until the load has been made to comply with this section. (Amended 1971, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 32.)

  • § 1454. Securing loads

    (a) A person shall not operate a motor vehicle nor draw a trailer or semi-trailer on a highway unless the motor vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer is so constructed and loaded that it will create no hazard to other users of the highway.

    (b) The Commissioner may, by rule, impose design and load security requirements, consistent with nationally recognized safety standards, upon motor vehicles, trailers, and semi-trailers in order to provide for the safe and secure transport of any loads. (1961, No. 62, §§ 1, 2; amended 1971, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 32; 1997, No. 46, § 7.)


  • Subchapter 016: LIABILITY OF OPERATORS
  • § 1491. Repealed. 1969, No. 194 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. March 12, 1970.

  • § 1492. Liability for damage defined; limitations

    The owner, driver, operator, or mover of any motor truck, tractor, trailer, wagon, cart, carriage, or other object or contrivance which is moved or operated on any highway in violation of any of the provisions of sections 1098, 1145, 1302, 1305, and 1431 of this title, such portion of section 1141 of this title as pertains to trucks and buses, and such portion of section 1391 of this title as relates to weight in relation to tire surface, shall be liable to the State or municipal corporation in which the act is committed for damages to a public highway occasioned by such moving or operating, to be recovered in a civil action, in the name of the State or municipal corporation, or in an action on the bond provided in this chapter in connection with the issuance of permits, provided the action is brought within two years after such act is committed.