The State Senate has approved legislation ( HB 93 & SB 293 ) creating new rules for tractors involved in tractor parades. Several of these parades, which occur in rural areas for fundraising and other activities, have been cancelled because of jurisdiction and liability concerns.
There has been a question of who has the authority to grant permission for these parades. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has said it does not want the responsibility in case there is an accident.
Senator Frank Barnitz (D-Lake Spring), who sponsors the legislation in the Senate, says authority will now belong to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
"It turns it (authority) over to the State Highway Patrol," said Barnitz. "To issue their acceptance for people to use the highways to do long trains of tractors in a parade fashion."
There is no guarantee the Highway Patrol will grant authority.
"They will be able to sign off and say that it’s alright," said Barnitz. "Or it’s not if it’s in a very dangerous area they do have the authority to say that your route is not safe for the public and they can deny it."
A minor technical amendment has been made to the legislation in the Senate, with the bill now returning to the House for its final approval of the slightly amended legislation.