By Jody Norwood
Tribune-Courier News Editor
BENTON– Changes to vehicle registration requirements earlier this year may make life a little simpler for area farmers. And the Kentucky State Police’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement division is reaching out to let agricultural producers know what’s new.
“In Kentucky we love our farmers,” said CVE officer Chris Green. “We want to give them any exemption we can and make life a little easier.”
Green is working within his 23 county area to let farmers know of requirement changes, including the creation of three weight classifications under Senate Bill 79. Sponsored by Sen. Joey Pendleton, SB 79 was signed into law in March, passing 99-0 in the House and 37-0 in the Senate.
The bill created a three tiered weight classification system for farm trucks– under 26,000 pounds, 26,001 to 38,000 pounds, and over 38,000 pounds. It also created a number of exmptions for some classes, such as medical card requirements and safety inspections.
It also helps ensure Kentucky farmers are not improperly ticketed and taxed when operating farm vehicles in other states and extended the state’s deifinition of the harvesting season. Planting and harvesting season is now deemed to be year-round for purposes of operating farm vehicles on highways. Previously, it was considered from March 1 through Nov. 23.
The first informational meeting was held earlier this month in Todd County. Green said the event drew nearly 65 farmers and was a success.
“We had a lot of good feedback,” Green said. “A lot of good questions. That’s what we want.”
The CVE is working to schedule similar meetings. Currently, meetings are scheduled throughout the remainder of the year in 16 counties. Green and others will be at the Marshall County Extension Office Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. Green invited anyone with questions to attend. No registration is required.
“Come as you are,” Green said. “The more the merrier. If they just have one question and don’t want to sit through the whole program, just come up and ask me.”
The Exentsion Office is located at 1933 Mayfield Highway in Benton. For more information, phone Green at 388-2979 or County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources Lincoln Martin at 527-3285.