Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tractors on the Road

The Boston Globe reported yesterday that a provision in the Massachusetts Dairy Farm Revitalization Act (St.2008, c.310) allows farm tractors to travel up to ten miles on roads. The limit had formerly been two miles. The new law, St.2008, c.310, s.7 amends MGL c.90, s.9.  

The change had largely gone unnoticed because of the language used (or not used) in the amendment. The law had read: "A tractor... may be operated without such registration upon any way ... between one-half mile and two miles if said tractor, trailer or truck is used exclusively for agricultural purposes and the owner thereof maintains in full force a policy of liability insurance." 

The amendment reads: "Section 9 of chapter 90 ... is hereby amended by striking out, in line 18, the word “two” and inserting in place thereof the following number:- 10. "

Unless you are closely following a given bill's progress through the legislative process,  sections like this one are easy to miss.