The following were among actions taken at Tuesday's meeting of the Montgomery County Council. For more information, call 251-7900.
TRUCK COVERS -- The council, in a move intended to pressure the Maryland General Assembly into passing similar legislation, approved 6 to 0 a bill requiring trucks to be covered when carrying loose or bulky loads on all roads maintained by the county.
Municipalities within the county would have to take legislative action to be covered under the new county law.
The council's decision to mandate truck covers on 1,873 miles of county roads comes after repeated attempts by Montgomery's legislative delegation to win passage of a statewide truck cover bill -- attempts blocked by the truck lobby.
The law takes effect 91 days after it is signed by County Executive Sidney Kramer, who supported it. Penalties for conviction under the law are $50 for the first offense and $100 for subsequent offenses. The law also provides criminal penalties, with a maximum $200 fine and/or 30 days in jail.
The council bill was sponsored by member William E. Hanna Jr., who called the bill a response to numerous complaints from motorists about accidents and litter caused by uncovered trucks.
The version of the bill initially introduced by Hanna would have applied the law to about 400 miles of state-maintained roads in the county, including I-270, the Beltway and Rockville Pike, but that portion of the bill was dropped because the county has no authority over state roads.
In a press release issued immediately after the bill was passed, Hanna said, "We in Montgomery have given up hope that the state legislature will ever pass a truck cover bill, so I decided to introduce this on the local level to protect our citizens and cars traveling on our county roads."