Maine Revised Statutes

§2395. Ways requiring special protection

1. Right of the Department of Transportation.  The Department of Transportation may restrict the weight or passage of any vehicle over any way when, in its judgment, such passage would be unsafe or likely to cause excessive damage to the way or bridge. Nothing in this Title may be construed to restrict or abridge this right.
[ RR 1995, c. 1, §26 (COR) .]
2. Rules.  The Department of Transportation may adopt rules to ensure proper use and prevent abuse of the public ways under the department's jurisdiction whenever those ways require special protection. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
[ 2013, c. 55, §1 (AMD) .]
3. Designation by the Department of Transportation.  The Department of Transportation may designate state and state aid highways and bridges over which restrictions on gross weight, speed, operation and equipment apply during periods of the year determined by the Department. It is unlawful for any vehicle to travel over public ways with a gross registered weight exceeding that prescribed by the Department and traveling with a load other than tools or equipment necessary for operation of the vehicle.
[ 1993, c. 683, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1993, c. 683, Pt. B, §5 (AFF) .]
4. Designation by counties and municipalities.  County commissioners and municipal officers may designate public ways other than those in subsection 3 and impose restrictions within their respective jurisdictions similar to those made by the Department of Transportation under subsection 3. Any vehicle delivering home heating fuel and operating in accordance with a permit issued by the Department of Transportation pursuant to this section may travel over any county or town way without a specific municipal or county permit. A municipality may impose additional restrictions for home heating fuel delivery trucks to operate on public ways within that municipality but may not require a permit to operate according to those restrictions.
[ 1999, c. 600, §1 (AMD) .]
4-A. Municipal permit not required during declared drought emergency.  Notwithstanding subsection 4, during a period of drought emergency declared by the Governor pursuant to Title 37-B, section 742, a person operating a vehicle that is transporting well-drilling equipment for the purpose of drilling a replacement water well or for improving an existing water well on property where that well is no longer supplying sufficient water for residents or agricultural purposes may travel over a county or municipal way without a specific county or municipal permit, as long as the following conditions are met:
A. The operator of the vehicle is operating in accordance with a permit issued by the Department of Transportation when a department permit is required for a road or way necessary to reach the county or municipal way on which the property to be drilled is situated; [2001, c. 540, §1 (NEW).]
B. The municipal or county manager or, in the absence of a municipal or county manager, a municipal or county officer or road commissioner is notified in advance; and [2001, c. 540, §1 (NEW).]
C. The operator of the vehicle is traveling on a road that is posted by a county or municipality in accordance with any additional restrictions the municipality or county may impose, excepting any requirement for a specific county or municipal permit. [2001, c. 540, §1 (NEW).]
[ 2001, c. 540, §1 (NEW) .]
5. Notice.  A notice specifying the designated sections of a public way, the periods of closing and prescribed restrictions or exclusions must be conspicuously posted at each end of the public way requiring special protection in accordance with this section.
[ 1993, c. 683, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1993, c. 683, Pt. B, §5 (AFF) .]
6. Enforcement.  Municipal officers within their respective municipalities have the same power as the State Police in the enforcement of this section and of all rules of the Department of Transportation, the county commissioners and the municipal officers that pertain to this section. The municipal officers, in such cases, serve without compensation.
[ 1993, c. 683, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1993, c. 683, Pt. B, §5 (AFF) .]
7. Violation.  A violation of this section is a traffic infraction punishable by a fine, which may not be suspended, of not less than $250.
[ RR 2009, c. 2, §83 (COR) .]
8. Information on bridges.  Whenever necessary, the Department of Transportation may provide to municipal and county officials information concerning the capacity of bridges under the jurisdiction of those officials and the advisability of posting those bridges.
[ RR 2009, c. 2, §84 (COR) .]
1993, c. 683, §A2 (NEW). 1993, c. 683, §B5 (AFF). RR 1995, c. 1, §26 (COR). 1999, c. 600, §1 (AMD). 2001, c. 540, §1 (AMD). RR 2009, c. 2, §§83, 84 (COR). 2013, c. 55, §1 (AMD).