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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/HB 7061 — Transportation

by Economic Affairs Committee; Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee; Transportation and Port Subcommittee; and Reps. Santiago, Cortes, B., and others (CS/CS/SB 1392 by Appropriations Committee; Transportation Committee; and Senator Brandes)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Transportation Committee (TR)

The bill includes a number of transportation-related provisions. Specifically, the bill:

  • Authorizes the transfer of the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) Pinellas Bayway System to become part of the turnpike system and, in such event, also requires the transfer of certain funds to be used to help fund the costs of repair and replacement of the transferred facilities.
  • Repeals certain provisions of the Laws of Florida relative to the Pinellas Bayway System and deletes obsolete references to certain toll facilities.
  • Increases from $15 million to $25 million the minimum annual funding for the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development Program.
  • Establishes the Seaport Security Advisory Committee within the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development Council and establishes a Seaport Security Grant Program, subject to specific appropriation.
  • Directs the Office of Economic and Demographic Research to determine the economic benefits of the state’s investment in the FDOT’s adopted work program, as specified; requires the FDOT to provide the office full access to all data necessary to complete the evaluation; and requires the office to submit the evaluation to the Senate President and House Speaker by January 1, 2017.
  • Clarifies the FDOT’s authority with respect to noncompliant traffic and pedestrian control devices.
  • Substantially revises chapter 333, F.S., relating to airport zoning regulations.
  • Extends the authorized term of certain airport-related leases.
  • Requires the FDOT, by June 30, 2018, to install roadside barriers to shield water bodies contiguous with state roads where a death due to drowning resulted from certain motor vehicle accidents during the period between July 1, 2006, and July 1, 2016.
  • Requires the FDOT to review all such motor vehicle accidents, using reconciled crash data received from the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (FDHSMV), and to submit a report, providing recommendations regarding any necessary changes to state laws and to the FDOT’s rules to enhance traffic safety.
  • Requires local governments to consider information provided by the FDOT regarding the effect that approving or denying certain land use changes, regulations, or orders may have on the cost of construction aggregate materials in the local area, region, and state.
  • Revises conditions under which the FDOT may waive a required surety bond relating to contracts for construction or maintenance.
  • Revises the purpose of the state-funded infrastructure bank within the FDOT to include constructing and improving ancillary facilities that produce or distribute natural gas fuel; authorizes the FDOT to consider applications for loans from the bank for development and construction of certain natural gas fuel production or distribution facilities beginning July 1, 2017; and authorizes such loans to be used to refinance outstanding debt.
  • Repeals obsolete definition and identification of “statewide transportation corridors.”
  • Increases the population ceiling in the definition of “small county” for purposes of the Small County Outreach Program.
  • Provides an exemption from permitting for certain outdoor advertising signs in place since 1995.
  • Requires the FDOT to install directional signs for certain breweries on the rights-of-way of interstate highways and primary and secondary roads, subject to certain requirements and requires a brewery that requests a directional sign to pay certain costs.
  • Re-orders alphabetically the definitions for purposes of chapter 316, F.S., relating to uniform traffic control, and makes numerous cross-reference corrections and one re-enactment necessitated by the re-ordering.
  • Defines the term “commercial megacycle;” authorizes the governing body of a municipality or a county to allow the operation of a commercial megacycle on roads or streets within the respective jurisdictions if certain conditions are met; authorizes the FDOT to prohibit such operation on or across any road  under its jurisdiction if it determines that prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety; excludes megacycle passengers from certain open-container provisions; and authorizes use of an auxiliary motor to move a megacycle from the roadway under emergency circumstances or while no passenger is on board.
  • Expands the authority of a chartered municipal parking enforcement specialist to enforce state, county, and municipal parking laws and ordinances under specified circumstances.
  • Revises the definition of the term “port vehicles and equipment,” to exclude motor vehicles being relocated within a port facility or via designated port district roads from provisions requiring registration, payment of license tax, and display of license plates.
  • Revises specifications for bus deceleration lighting systems.
  • Extends from 53 to 57 feet the allowable length of certain semitrailers authorized to operate on public roads under certain conditions.
  • Authorizes insurance companies to receive a salvage certificate of title or certificate of destruction from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles after a specified number of days following payment of a claim as of a specified date, subject to certain requirements.
  • Authorizes the international symbol for the deaf and hard of hearing to be exhibited on the driver license or identification card of a person who is deaf or hard of hearing as specified.
  • Prohibits law enforcement from issuing a citation for an expired registration until the last day of the month of the year the registration expires, with certain exceptions.
  • Requires the FDHSMV to issue or renew an identification card to certain juvenile offenders and requires that the department’s mobile issuing units process certain identification cards at no charge.
  • Requires the FDHSMV to maintain an integrated link on its website referring certain visitors to a donor registry.
  • Repeals obsolete bond language relating to the already-repealed Broward County Expressway Authority.
  • Creates the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Chairs Coordinating Committee (CCC) within the TBARTA, adds the MPO serving Citrus County as a CCC member, and requires TBARTA to provide administrative support and direction to the CCC.
  • Revises the TBARTA governing board membership, requiring the FDOT Secretary to appoint two advisors to the board subject to certain requirements, rather than appointing one nonvoting, ex officio member.
  • Requires the TBARTA master plan to be updated every five years, rather than every two years, and requires coordination and submission of the master plan and updates to the TBARTA MPO CCC.
  • Expands the list of project types that the Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority is approved to finance with certain revenue bonds.
  • Prohibits a county that has licensed or issued a permit to a provider of nonemergency medical transportation services from requiring the provider to use a vehicle larger than needed to transport the number of passengers or that is inconsistent with the medical condition of the individuals receiving the service, and provides applicability.
  • Authorizes any member of a certified, qualified job training organization that has at least one roadside cleaning service contract with a state agency to participate in a specified self-insurance fund, notwithstanding certain provisions.

The bill also makes several statutory changes specific to the operation and regulation of autonomous vehicles, including:

  • Clarifying that the authorization for a person holding a valid driver license to operate an autonomous vehicle applies on the public roads of this state.
  • Revising provisions regarding the operation of autonomous vehicles on roads for testing purposes.
  • Revising equipment requirements for autonomous vehicles, requiring a system to alert an operator of a technology failure and to take control, or to stop the vehicle under certain conditions.
  • Prohibiting operation of a motor vehicle on the highways of this state while the vehicle is in motion if the vehicle is actively displaying moving television broadcast or pre-recorded video entertainment content visible from the driver’s seat, unless the vehicle is equipped with autonomous technology and is being operated in autonomous mode.
  • Providing that an electronic display used by an operator of a vehicle equipped with autonomous technology or by an operator of a vehicle equipped with driver-assistive truck platooning technology is not prohibited.
  • Defining the term “driver-assistive truck platooning technology;” requiring the FDOT to study, in consultation with the FDHSMV, the use and safe operation of driver assistive truck platooning technology; and authorizing a pilot project to test vehicles equipped with such technology.
  • Requiring manufacturers of such technology to provide insurance before the start of the pilot project and requiring the FDOT, in consultation with the FDHSMV, to report the results of the study and any findings or recommendations from the pilot project.
  • Requiring metropolitan planning organizations to accommodate advances in vehicle technology when developing long-range transportation plans and requiring the FDOT to accommodate advances in vehicle technology when updating the Strategic Intermodal System Plan.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2016.

Vote: Senate 39-1; House 117-2