Oklahoma bill would permit truckers to bypass congested weigh stations

| 3/3/2006

An Oklahoma House panel has unanimously approved a bill intended to make the state’s roadways safer near weigh stations.

The House Transportation Committee voted Feb. 23 to advance a bill that would allow truck drivers to bypass congested weigh stations on interstates throughout the state.

Sponsored by Rep. Ryan Kiesel, D-Seminole, the bill was drafted in response to fatal traffic accidents that resulted near weigh stations after waiting trucks were backed up into interstate traffic and were then struck from behind by passenger vehicles.

Kiesel said his bill would promote “a free-flow of traffic” on state highways by allowing trucks to bypass weigh stations if “the station is at full occupancy.”

The Oklahoma departments of Public Safety and Transportation are working with Kiesel to determine how the warning system would work.

Prior to the Transportation Committee vote, Kiesel told lawmakers of the importance of not asking truck drivers to compromise their safety and the safety of others by impeding traffic at congested weigh stations.

The bill – HB2743 – has been forwarded to the full House for further consideration.