Work-zone safety the subject of Missouri bills

| 1/10/2006

Speeding through roadside work zones in Missouri soon could cost drivers a lot more money.

Rep. Ed Robb, R-Columbia, and Sen. Delbert Scott, R-Lowry City, have introduced similar bills intended to help keep construction workers safe.

Anyone found speeding or passing illegally in a work zone when workers are present would face a $1,000 fine. Scott’s bill would also add eight points to a driver’s license.

Existing state law fines violators $250 for speeding in work zones.

“I’m fairly sure this will catch drivers’ attention,” Robb told The Columbia Daily Tribune.

The provision is expected to be included in a larger House bill expected to be introduced in the coming weeks.

The larger bill also would make it illegal for drivers to pass over the double yellow line on roadways and prohibit large trucks from driving in the far left-hand lane of highways with three or more lanes in each direction.

In the meantime, House Transportation Chairman Neal St. Onge, R-Ellisville, has introduced his own bill that would prohibit passing over the double yellow line.

He said too many workers and motorists are injured in work zones.

“There seems to be a disregard for posted speed limits and cautions,” St. Onge told the Columbia Missourian.

Scott Stotlemeyer, a Missouri Department of Transportation technical support engineer, said 28 people were killed in work zones in 2004. He blamed careless driving for most of the accidents.

Robb’s bill – HB1040 – and Scott’s bill – SB754 – are awaiting assignment to a committee. St. Onge’s bill – HB1143 – also awaits assignment.