MASSACHUSETTS– DOT Rule Update
Issue: Fiberglass Pool Transportation and Pilot Car Requirements
Affects: Transportation of fiberglass pools
Send comments to: Regan Ratliff, firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: During the last legislative session a bill was filed to address the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (DOT) restrictions on the transportation of fiberglass pools larger than 14.6 feet. The legislation would have allowed for the transport of fiberglass pools up to 16 feet, which is the norm in all other states and allowed in other industries, such as a modular home. APSP, along with its Fiberglas Pool Manufacturers Council, and members in Massachusetts, lobbied for the passage of this bill. Although the bill did not end up passing, conversations between the industry, the bill sponsor and DOT began that led to DOT opening the rule and address the issue through rulemaking in lieu of legislation.
Rule Summary: Massachusetts DOT opened rule 700 CMR 7.00: Use of the Massachusetts turnpike and the metropolitan highway system to allow for up to 16 feet wide transport permits of fiberglass pools. The rule changes went into effect on February 8, 2019 and were a victory for the industry.
Please note, at this time there seems to be confusion surrounding the language included in the updated rule regarding when a pilot car is needed. The industry interprets the rule to require a pilot car (police escort in front and back of the fiberglass pool transport) only if the vehicle cannot meet the minimum speed whereas others have said a pilot car is needed in all scenarios.
APSP is working to address the situation and will provide clarity when more information is released. In the meantime, if you plan on pulling a permit to transport a fiberglass pool within Massachusetts in the near future, please contact us, as it could be an opportunity to run a test case on the possible interpretation issue addressing pilot cars.
Status: The DOT rule went into effect February 8, 2019. APSP will report when a clarification of the rule has been established.
Rule Link: (starts pg. 45) https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2019/02/11/jud-lib-700cmr7.pdf