Updated 4:45 p.m. WEDNESDAY. With legislators itching to hit the road in the next few days — maybe by the end of this week — final action was taken several transportation bills in the waning days of the General Assembly:
Wide boats. H 2167 would let fishermen and other recreational boaters haul boats and trailers up to 10 feet wide on state roads without permits, up from the current 8.5-foot limit. It still faces a veto threat from Gov. Mike Easley unless nighttime towing -- dangerous on narrow roads, the Highway Patrol says -- is banned.
The Senate trimmed 6 inches from the nighttime regulation to allow boats and trailers up to 9.5 feet wide on the roads after dark, and approved the bill today. Now the House will consider it and Easley’s effort to keep 8.5 feet as the width limit for nighttime towing.
Driver's licenses. S 1799 authorizes DMV to start printing driver's licenses with laser-engraved black-and-white mugshots instead of the current color photo mugshots. That's partly to save money and also because the mugs would actually be engraved on your plastic license card -- supposedly making it harder than with a printed photo to change your looks with, say, a Groucho mustache and glasses.
Current laser technology is limited to B&W images, but DMV would have the option in the future to change to laser-engraved color images. The Senate approved it and sent it to the governor today.
This bill also backs down from state pledge to deliver all driver's licenses to home addresses by mail. ...