Alabama bill to give small towns more ticketing authority dies

| 6/3/2008

A bill that has died in the Alabama House called for giving law enforcement in small towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstate highways that pass through their cities’ limits. It is the second year in a row the effort has failed to gain passage.

The bill advanced from the House Public Safety Committee to the chamber floor only to be “indefinitely postponed.” The status effectively killed the bill – HB22 – for the year.

Alabama law prohibits towns with fewer than 19,000 residents from enforcing speed limits on interstates within city limits. Sponsored by Rep. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, the measure sought to repeal existing law and allow police in towns with populations between 7,000 and 19,000 to write speeding tickets on interstates.

Supporters said the law should be changed because there are not enough state troopers for speed enforcement. They also said putting more local officers on the interstates would result in safer travel.

Opponents said the ban is necessary to prevent small towns from creating speed traps on interstates and using ticket revenue to fill city coffers.

The legislation can be brought back for consideration during the 2009 regular session.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Alabama in 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor