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The Florida Senate

2005 Florida Statutes

Section 334.044, Florida Statutes 2005

334.044  Department; powers and duties.--The department shall have the following general powers and duties:

(1)  To assume the responsibility for coordinating the planning of a safe, viable, and balanced state transportation system serving all regions of the state, and to assure the compatibility of all components, including multimodal facilities.

(2)  To adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of law conferring duties upon it.

(3)  To adopt an official seal.

(4)  To maintain its headquarters in Tallahassee and its district offices and necessary field offices at such places within the state as it may designate, and to purchase, build, or lease suitable buildings for such uses.

(5)  To purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire property and materials, including the purchase of promotional items as part of public information and education campaigns for the promotion of scenic highways, traffic and train safety awareness, alternatives to single-occupant vehicle travel, and commercial motor vehicle safety; to purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire equipment and supplies; and to sell, exchange, or otherwise dispose of any property that is no longer needed by the department.

(6)  To acquire, by the exercise of the power of eminent domain as provided by law, all property or property rights, whether public or private, which it may determine are necessary to the performance of its duties and the execution of its powers.

(7)  To enter into contracts and agreements.

(8)  To sue and be sued as provided by law.

(9)  To employ and train staff, and to contract with qualified consultants. For the purposes of chapters 471 and 472, the department shall be considered a firm.

(10)(a)  To develop and adopt uniform minimum standards and criteria for the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of public roads pursuant to the provisions of s. 336.045

(b)  The department shall periodically review its construction, design, and maintenance standards to ensure that such standards are cost-effective and consistent with applicable federal regulations and state law.

(c)  The department is authorized to adopt rules relating to approval of aggregate and other material sources.

(11)  To establish a numbering system for public roads, to functionally classify such roads, and to assign jurisdictional responsibility.

(12)  To coordinate the planning of the development of public transportation facilities within the state and the provision of related transportation services as authorized by law.

(13)  To designate existing and to plan proposed transportation facilities as part of the State Highway System, and to construct, maintain, and operate such facilities.

(14)  To establish, control, and prohibit points of ingress to, and egress from, the State Highway System, the turnpike, and other transportation facilities under the department's jurisdiction as necessary to ensure the safe, efficient, and effective maintenance and operation of such facilities.

(15)  To regulate and prescribe conditions for the transfer of stormwater to the state right-of-way as a result of manmade changes to adjacent properties.

(a)  Such regulation shall be through a permitting process designed to ensure the safety and integrity of the Department of Transportation facilities and to prevent an unreasonable burden on lower properties.

(b)  The department is specifically authorized to adopt rules which set forth the purpose; necessary definitions; permit exceptions; permit and assurance requirements; permit application procedures; permit forms; general conditions for a drainage permit; provisions for suspension or revocation of a permit; and provisions for department recovery of fines, penalties, and costs incurred due to permittee actions. In order to avoid duplication and overlap with other units of government, the department shall accept a surface water management permit issued by a water management district, the Department of Environmental Protection, a surface water management permit issued by a delegated local government, or a permit issued pursuant to an approved Stormwater Management Plan or Master Drainage Plan; provided issuance is based on requirements equal to or more stringent than those of the department. The department may enter into a permit-delegation agreement with a governmental entity if issuance of a permit is based on requirements that the department finds will ensure the safety and integrity of facilities of the Department of Transportation.

(16)  To plan, acquire, lease, construct, maintain, and operate toll facilities; to authorize the issuance and refunding of bonds; and to fix and collect tolls or other charges for travel on any such facilities.

(17)  To designate limited access facilities on the State Highway System and turnpike projects; to plan, construct, maintain, and operate service roads in connection with such facilities; and to regulate, reconstruct, or realign any existing public road as a service road.

(18)  To establish and maintain bicycle and pedestrian ways.

(19)  To encourage and promote the development of multimodal transportation alternatives.

(20)  To conduct research studies, and to collect data necessary for the improvement of the state transportation system.

(21)  To conduct research and demonstration projects relative to innovative transportation technologies.

(22)  To cooperate with and assist local governments in the development of a statewide transportation system and in the development of the individual components of the system.

(23)  To cooperate with the transportation department or duly authorized commission or authority of any state in the development and construction of transportation facilities physically connecting facilities of this state with those facilities of any adjoining state.

(24)  To identify, obtain, and administer all federal funds available to the department for all transportation purposes.

(25)  To do all things necessary to obtain the full benefits of the national Highway Safety Act of 1966, and in so doing, to cooperate with federal and state agencies, public and private agencies, interested organizations, and individuals to effectuate the purposes of that act, and any and all amendments thereto. The Governor shall have the ultimate state responsibility for dealing with the Federal Government in respect to programs and activities initiated pursuant to the national Highway Safety Act of 1966, and any amendments thereto.

(26)  To provide for the conservation of natural roadside growth and scenery and for the implementation and maintenance of roadside beautification programs. To accomplish this, for fiscal years 1999-2000, 2000-2001, and 2001-2002 no less than 1 percent, and for subsequent fiscal years no less than 1.5 percent of the amount contracted for construction projects shall be allocated by the department to beautification programs. Except where prohibited by federal law or federal regulation and to the extent practical, a minimum of 50 percent of these funds shall be used to purchase large plant materials with the remaining funds for other plant materials and these materials shall be purchased from Florida-based nurseryman stock on a uniform competitive bid basis. The department will develop grades and standards for landscaping materials purchased through this process. To accomplish these activities, the department may contract with nonprofit organizations having the primary purpose of developing youth employment opportunities.

(27)  To conduct studies and provide coordination to assess the needs associated with landside ingress and egress to port facilities, and to coordinate with local governmental entities to ensure that port facility access routes are properly integrated with other transportation facilities.

(28)  To require persons to affirm the truth of statements made in any application for a license, permit, or certification issued by the department or in any contract documents submitted to the department.

(29)  To advance funds for projects in the department's adopted work program to governmental entities prior to commencement of the project or project phase when the advance has been authorized by the department's comptroller and is made pursuant to a written agreement between the department and a governmental entity.

(30)  To take any other action necessary to carry out the powers and duties expressly granted in this code.

(31)  To provide oversight of traveler information systems that may include the provision of interactive voice response telephone systems accessible via the 511 number as assigned by the Federal Communications Commission for traveler information services. The department shall ensure that uniform standards and criteria for the collection and dissemination of traveler information are applied using interactive voice response systems.

(32)  In order to fulfill the department's mission to provide a safe and efficient transportation system, the department's Office of Motor Carrier Compliance may employ sworn law enforcement officers, certified in accordance with chapter 943, to enforce the traffic and criminal laws of this state. Such officers shall have full law enforcement powers granted to other peace officers of this state, including making arrests, carrying firearms, serving court process, and seizing vehicles defined as contraband under s. 319.33, illegal drugs, stolen property, and the proceeds of illegal activities. Officers appointed under this section have the primary responsibility for enforcing laws relating to size and weight of commercial motor vehicles; safety, traffic, tax, and registration of commercial motor vehicles; interdiction of vehicles defined as contraband under s. 319.33, illegal drugs, and stolen property; and violations that threaten the overall security and safety of Florida's transportation infrastructure and the motoring public. The office is also authorized to appoint part-time or auxiliary law enforcement officers pursuant to chapter 943 and to provide compensation in accordance with law.

History.--s. 11, ch. 84-309; s. 9, ch. 85-180; s. 26, ch. 86-243; s. 2, ch. 88-224; s. 155, ch. 92-152; s. 56, ch. 93-164; s. 15, ch. 96-423; s. 1, ch. 98-105; ss. 69, 232, 233, ch. 98-200; s. 1, ch. 99-250; s. 6, ch. 2000-266; s. 3, ch. 2002-13; s. 8, ch. 2002-20; s. 39, ch. 2003-286.