Nebraska bill targets speeders

| Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Lead-footed drivers would face stiffer penalties under legislation introduced in the Nebraska Legislature Jan. 7.

State Sen. Tom Baker of Lincoln introduced a measure to increase speeding fines and penalty points assessed against a driver’s license for each violation.

Under the bill, three tickets for traveling 10 mph above the posted speed would be enough to cost drivers their licenses.

The penalty for driving 1-5 mph over the speed limit would net violators a $25 fine, up from $10. Driving 6-10 mph over the limit would cost speeders $50, up from $25. Violations of 11-15 mph over the limit would be $100, up from $75. Driving in excess of 16-20 mph over the limit would net offenders a $150 fine, up from $125. Speeding in excess of 21 mph over the limit would still cost drivers $200.

The bill – LB156 – assesses penalty points as such: 2 points for driving 1-5 mph over the limit, up from 1 point; 3 points for driving 6-10 mph over the limit, up from 2 points; and 4 points for driving 10 mph or more over the limit, up from 3 points.

Baker told the Omaha World-Herald increasing driver safety is his primary concern.

Fred Zwonechek, director of Nebraska’s Office of Highway Safety, said speeding often is not even mentioned when people talk about ways to reduce traffic accidents and deaths.

He said officials nationwide are encouraging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to focus more on speeding.

“With the focus on alcohol and occupant restraints, what’s getting left behind here is the speeding,” Zwonechek told the newspaper. “States are seeing increases in fatal collisions where speeds are a factor.”

He said speeding is a factor in up to 25 percent of traffic fatalities in Nebraska.

Baker said he introduced a bill to increase speeding penalties last year for discussion purposes. This time, he expects the measure to pass.

“I think the public’s fed up with speeders,” he said. “It’s time to slow ’em down.”

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