TRANSPORTATION SAFETY: Results of Collection of Information on State Permitting Practices for Oversize Vehicles (GAO-15-235SP, February 2015), an E-supplement to GAO-15-236 [Reissued on February 27, 2015]

Read the Full Report: TRANSPORTATION SAFETY: Federal Highway Administration Should Conduct Research to Determine Best Practices in Permitting Oversize Vehicles (GAO-15-236).


GAO gathered information from officials in 50 states and the District of Columbia on their permitting practices for oversize and overweight vehicles and loads. A permit is issued by a state to provide permission for an oversize or overweight vehicle and load to travel in an area, for example a state or town, or on a specific route, such as an interstate highway. When state agencies issue permits, they may assess the possible negative impacts the oversize or overweight load and vehicle may cause, and then they may try to mitigate those impacts by attaching conditions or requirements to the permit. Key findings are summarized in the accompanying report, GAO-15-236. This e-supplement contains additional information about states' vehicle size and weight requirements, permitting processes, and permit restrictions related to the transportation of oversize and overweight vehicles and loads. GAO gathered information from published permitting resources and state publications, which was then sent to state officials for verification. For a detailed explanation of the methodological approach used, please see the scope and methodology appendix in the accompanying report, GAO-15-236.

State information can be accessed by clicking on the table of contents link and then using the interactive map, the state and data topic links, or the comma-separated values (.csv) file in this e-supplement. To view the information for a particular state, select the desired state on the map or from the list of states. If you select from the map, the page will redirect to the information for the state and you must select the back button to return to the map. If you select from the list of states, a new browser window containing information for that state will appear. To view the information for all states on a particular data topic, select from the data topic links. A new browser window containing information for all states will appear. To view all of the information for each state and data topic, select the Data Table of 50 State Responses link to download a complete .csv file. For more information on the type of data collected please see the description of all data elements link found under the Data Topics section in the table of contents.

As part of our collection of information, we asked state officials for information on the number of times vehicles collided with bridges in fiscal year 2013 and the number of bridge hits involving oversize vehicles and loads in fiscal year 2013; however, we did not include these in this e-supplement because of inconsistencies in responses. Some states responded with numbers but qualified them as estimates or as incomplete and other states did not provide responses. State officials told us they cannot reliably determine the number of bridge hits, or attribute a bridge hit to an oversize vehicle, because they can only record bridge hits if the incident is observed and reported by the vehicle driver or a witness. If a bridge hit is not witnessed, damage to a bridge may not be discovered until the next scheduled bridge inspection, when the cause and date of the damage cannot be determined.

We conducted this performance audit from April 2014 to February 2015 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives.


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