Skip to contentU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Policy and Governmental Affairs
Legislative Affairs and Policy Communications

Connect with us

eSubscribe - Receive regular email updates

FHWA > Programs > Office of Policy > Legislative Affairs and Policy Communications > Financing Federal-aid Highways > Appendix E

Appendix E: Penalties

TYPE/STATUTE DESCRIPTION PENALTY
Vehicle Weight Limitations–Interstate System
23 U.S.C. 127(a)
States must permit a minimum and maximum of 20,000 pound single axle, 34,000 pound tandem axle, and 80,000 pound gross weight of combination (5 axles or more) vehicles to operate on the Interstate System. Maximum weight cannot exceed allowable under bridge formula. Grandfather rights create State-specific exceptions to all limits.Withholding of National Highway System (NHS) apportionments. If not restored during availability period, the apportionment lapses.
Enforcement of Vehicle Size and Weight Laws
23 U.S.C. 141(a)&(b)
Each State must certify that it is enforcing all State laws respecting maximum vehicle size and weights permitted on the Federal-aid primary system, the Federal-aid urban system, and the Federal-aid secondary system, including the Interstate System in accordance with 23 U.S.C. §127.Withholding of 10 percent of the apportionments for Interstate Maintenance (IM), NHS, Surface Transportation Program (STP), Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ), and Recreational Trails programs. Apportionments are restored if enforcement is shown to be acceptable within 1 year; otherwise, reapportioned to all other eligible States.
Registration–Proof of Heavy Vehicle Use Tax Payment
23 U.S.C. 141(c)
States must require proof of payment of Federal heavy vehicle use tax prior to registering heavy vehicles subject to the use tax.Withholding of up to 25 percent of the apportionments for the IM program. The withheld apportionment is reapportioned to the other States using 23 U.S.C. 104(b)(4), i.e., the IM formula.
Control of Outdoor Advertising
23 U.S.C. 131
States must provide for effective control of outdoor advertising signs along the Interstate System, the primary system as it existed on June 1, 1991, and any highway not on such system but on the NHS. Effective control has been extended to include prohibiting the erection of new off-premise signs along any highway designated as a scenic byway on these systems.Withholding of 10 percent of the apportionments for IM, NHS, STP, HSIP, CMAQ, and Recreational Trails. The withheld apportionment is reapportioned to the other States. The Secretary may suspend application of this penalty if deemed to be in the public interest.
Control of Junkyards
23 U.S.C. 136
States must provide for effective control of the establishment, use, and maintenance of junkyards adjacent to the Interstate systems.Withholding of 10 percent of the apportionments for IM, NHS, STP, HSIP, CMAQ, and Recreational Trails. The withheld apportionment is reapportioned to the other States. The Secretary may suspend application of this penalty if deemed to be in the public interest.
Maintenance
23 U.S.C. 116
States must properly maintain or cause to be maintained any project constructed under the provisions of the Federal-aid Highway Program.Cessation of project approvals for all types of projects in the State highway district, municipality, county, and other subdivisions of the State or the entire State.
Clean Air Act Compliance
1990 Clean Air Act Amendments 42 U.S.C. 7509
States are subject to State Implementation Plan (SIP) related sanctions. States must submit and implement all provisions of a complete, adequate SIP that provides for attainment of air quality standards in accordance with intermediate and final deadlines specified in the Clean Air Act.Cessation of project approvals within the non-attainment area; sanctions may be expanded to cover the entire State under certain circumstances at the discretion of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator. Penalty applies for failure to submit a SIP, or other related provisions; EPA disapproval of a SIP; and for failure to implement the SIP. Some projects are exempt from sanctions (i.e., seven congressionally authorized activities that discourage single occupancy vehicles (SOV); safety projects whose principle purpose is to improve safety by significantly reducing or avoiding accidents; and projects which EPA finds will improve air quality and not encourage SOV).
Air Quality Conformity
1990 Clean Air Act Amendments 42 U.S.C. 7509
No transportation plan, program, or project may be approved, accepted, or funded unless it has been found to conform to an applicable SIP by the metropolitan planning organization and the DOT. This means a well-coordinated FHWA/FTA finding, based on technical analysis of transportation and emissions models.Lack of a conformity determination on an area's transportation plan or transportation improvement program will prevent the expenditure of FHWA and FTA funds on any activities, with the exception of certain exempt categories. Such a penalty would apply to the entire nonattainment area. Further, if the reason for nonconformity is not implementing transportation control measures, it could lead to the imposition of highway sanctions on a statewide basis.$
National Minimum Drinking Age
23 U.S.C. 158
States must have laws that prohibit the purchase or public possession of any alcoholic beverage by a person who is less than 21 years of age.Withholding of 10 percent of the apportionments for IM, NHS, and STP. Any funds withheld lapse.
Commercial Driver's License
49 U.S.C. 31314
States must be in compliance with minimum Federal standards for licensing, reporting, and penalties.Withholding of 5 percent of the apportionments for IM, NHS and STP for first noncompliance; 10 percent thereafter. For funds withheld, there is no reserve period; that is, they lapse immediately.
Drug Offenders
23 U.S.C. 159
State must certify that it either: 1) has a law that requires the revocation or suspension of drivers' licenses for at least 6 months (or delay in the issuance of a license) for those convicted of any violation of the Controlled Substances Act or any drug offense or 2) has a statement by the Governor opposing enactment or enforcement of such a law and a resolution by the State legislature expressing opposition to such law.Withholding of 10 percent of the apportionments for IM, NHS, and STP. Any funds withheld lapse
Metropolitan Planning
23 U.S.C. 134(i)(5)
Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in Transportation Management Areas must be certified at least every 3 years by the Secretary of Transportation to be carrying out the required planning process in accordance with applicable provisions of Federal law.If an MPO is not certified, the Secretary may withhold up to 20% of the apportioned funds under Title 23 and Chapter 53 of Title 49 attributed to the relevant metropolitan area. Funds are restored when the MPO is certified.
Use of Safety Belts
23 U.S.C. 153(h)
State must have a law that makes it unlawful to operate a passenger vehicle if any front seat occupant (other than a child secured in a child restraint system) is not properly wearing a seat belt. An alternate compliance criterion is provided for New Hampshire (§354, P.L. 107-87, Dec. 18, 2001).If a State does not have such a law in effect, the Secretary will transfer 3 percent of the apportionments for NHS, STP, and CMAQ to the Section 402 safety program.
Surface Transportation Program (STP)
23 U.S.C. 133
State must comply with all provisions of law relating to the STP.If a State fails to take corrective action within 60 days after being notified by the Secretary of noncompliance, future STP apportionments will be withheld until corrective action has been taken.
Zero Tolerance Blood Alcohol Concentration for Minors
23 U.S.C. 161
State must enact and enforce a law that considers any individual under 21 years who has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 or above while operating a motor vehicle to be driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of alcohol.If a State does not have such a law in effect by October 1, 1999, the Secretary will withhold 10 percent of NHS, STP, and IM apportionments each fiscal year thereafter. Funds withheld before September 30, 2000, remain available for 3 fiscal years. Funds withheld after September 30, 2000, lapse immediately.
Open Container Requirements
23 U.S.C. 154
State must enact or have and enforce a law prohibiting the possession of open alcoholic beverage containers or the consumption of any alcoholic beverage in the passenger area of a motor vehicle. For motor vehicles designed to transport many passengers (such as for compensated transportation or in the living area of a mobile home), this requirement is considered satisfied if the State has a law prohibiting the possession of open alcoholic beverage containers by the driver (but not by a passenger).For FY 2003 and afterwards, effective the first day of the fiscal year, a State that has either not enacted or is not enforcing such a provision will have an amount equivalent to 3 percent of its NHS, STP, and IM apportionments and associated obligation authority transferred to the State's Section 402 apportionment for use for alcohol-impaired driving countermeasures, for enforcement of impaired or intoxicated driving laws, or for hazard elimination activities, at the State's option. The amounts transferred to the State's Section 402 program may be derived from any combination of the NHS, STP, and IM apportionments at the State's option.
Repeat Offenders
23 U.S.C. 164
State must enact and enforce a law that provides that any individual convicted of a second or subsequent offense for driving under the influence or while intoxicated shall: a) have his/her driver's license suspended for at least 1 year; b) be subject to vehicle impoundment, immobilization, or ignition interlock installation; c) receive an assessment of the individual's degree of alcoholic abuse and treatment as appropriate; and d) receive at least an assignment of 30 days of community service or 5 days imprisonment for a second offense and at least an assignment of 60 days community service or 10 days imprisonment for a third or subsequent offense.For FY 2003 and afterwards, effective the first day of the fiscal year, a State that has either not enacted or is not enforcing such a law will have an amount equivalent to 3 percent of its NHS, STP, and IM apportionments and associated obligation authority transferred to the State's Section 402 apportionment for use for alcohol-impaired driving countermeasures, for enforcement of impaired or intoxicated driving laws, or for hazard elimination activities, at the State's option. . The amounts transferred to the State's Section 402 program may be derived from any combination of the NHS, STP, and IM apportionments at the State's option.
Operation of Motor Vehicle by Intoxicated Persons
23 U.S.C. 163
State must enact and enforce a law that provides that any person with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or greater while operating a motor vehicle to be driving while intoxicated. Beginning October 1, 2003 and afterwards, effective the first day of the fiscal year, a State that has either not enacted or is not enforcing such a law will have withheld from its NHS, STP, and IM apportionments an amount equal to a percentage of the NHS, STP, and IM funds apportioned to the State for fiscal year 2003. The percentages are as follows:
FY 2004 – 2%
FY 2005 – 4%
FY 2006 – 6%
FY 2007 and thereafter – 8%
If a State enacts and is enforcing the prescribed law within 4 years from the date that funds were withheld, the State's apportionments will be increased by an amount equal to the amount withheld.
If a State has not enacted or is not enforcing the prescribed law at the end of the 4-year period, the withheld funds will lapse.

 

Return to top