Wyoming Senate rejects bill to slow trucks

| 1/28/2005

Wyoming senators rejected legislation Friday, Jan. 28, that called for split speed limits in the state.

The Senate vote was 15-15.

The bill – SF126 – sought to set the speed limit for large trucks at 65 mph on the state’s interstate highways. All other vehicles would have been permitted to continue to travel at the current 75 mph limit.

The effort previously passed the Senate Minerals, Business and Economic Development Committee on a 5-0 vote.

Senate President Grant Larson, R-Jackson, said he told the Senate panel during preliminary discussion, he thinks most Wyoming truckers follow the law. It is the out-of-state truckers that cause problems, he said.

Larson said he was prompted to introduce the bill after making many harrowing journeys to Cheyenne on Interstate 80, a main artery for trucks.

“I and others are absolutely tired of them roaring down the highway at any speed and putting everybody else in danger,” Larson said.

According to local media, in the past couple of weeks, I-80 has been the scene of numerous truck accidents, and the highway was closed near Laramie earlier this month after one tractor-trailer rear-ended another, killing a driver and spilling potentially explosive chemicals.

The bill, however, is not the only piece of legislation in the Wyoming Legislature that seeks to slow trucks down.

A bill offered by Rep. Kurt Bucholz, R-Saratoga, calls for truckers traveling on interstates to slow to 65 mph “when there is evidence of moisture on the roadway.” The law would apply only to trucks. Violators could face a fine of $100 if found to be driving in excess of 70 mph with any sign of moisture present.

HB212 is in the Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Committee.