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The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 19K: Hitching mechanism

Section 19K. For the purposes of this section, the term ''hitching mechanism'' shall be defined as the lift cylinder and the lift arm. Nothing in this section shall apply to state, county or municipally owned or operated vehicles. Between May 15 and October 15 of each year, any vehicle with a gross weight of less than 26,000 pounds which is equipped with a plow shall be required to have removed the plow and hitching mechanism used with the plow. Vehicles equipped with an apparatus that allows the hitching mechanism to be folded flat leaving no protruding surfaces, shall only be required to have the plow itself removed; if the hitching mechanism is in the folded flat position while the vehicle is in operation. If snowfall occurs before October 25 or after May 15 vehicles subject to this act may be re-equipped with the plow and any apparatus necessary for clearing snow. Vehicles shall be required to abide by this section within 72 hours of the conclusion of snowfall.

Any individual found operating a motor vehicle in violation of this section shall be issued a warning for the first offense, shall be fined $250 for the second offense and $500 and revocation of the vehicle's registration for the third offense. The revocation of a vehicle's registration due to a third offense shall remain in effect until the time as the vehicle is in compliance with this section. This section shall not apply to hitching mechanisms which are permanently affixed through welding or other means, before the effective date of this section. However, it shall be unlawful, and punishable by the fines and revocations, for any person to permanently affix through welding or other means a hitching mechanism governed under this section after the effective date of this section.

The registry of motor vehicles shall, within 180 calendar days of the effective date of this act, develop a list of makes and models of hitching mechanisms that fold flat leaving no protruding surfaces. The registry of motor vehicles shall promulgate and implement regulations governing a system of verification whereby the registry of motor vehicles can ensure a motor vehicle's compliance with this section following a third offense.