Dakota House of Representatives has passed a bill providing for plea
bargains to be offered to some truckers when they are cited the first
time under overweight truck regulations.
Bill Napoli, R-Rapid City, told The Associated Press Feb. 20 that
HB1172 is a compromise between those who wanted to lower the penalties
and those who wanted to keep them high. The bill passed the House Feb.
20 by a vote of 66-1.
the bill, no plea bargains could be struck Feb. 15 to April 30, when
conditions make roads easier to damage, and 2nd or 3rd offenses
could not be plea bargained either.
Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA, said when the issue was first
brought up that heavy fines for overweight trucks would do little to
improve the situation.
drivers has never been an effective deterrent to overweight trucks,” Spencer
be effective, the penalty must go to the recipient, the beneficiary of
the overweight truck, and that’s usually the shipper,” he said. “Whether
it’s coal or agriculture or steel, regardless, if the shipper benefits
from overloading the truck, there’s virtually nothing the truckdriver
can do to stop it.”
in November that Napoli and about 10 other lawmakers planned to introduce
a measure in the South Dakota Legislature to lower the penalties levied
on overweight trucks. Since then, several bills to reduce the penalties
said then that the state’s overweight fines, passed by the 1999 Legislature
as part of a boost in the state fuel tax, were too harsh, running four
times higher than those levied by neighboring states. He contended at
that time they should be lowered to just above what the fines were running
in surrounding states.