Oklahoma lawmaker considers split speed limits

| 1/30/2007

Large trucks traveling through certain areas in Oklahoma would have to reduce their speed by 15 mph under a bill filed in the state’s House of Representatives.

Rep. Richard Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City, is calling for trucks to be slowed from 70 mph to 55 mph while driving on the state’s interstate highways through urban areas. All other vehicles would be allowed to continue to travel at the current speed limit.

Morrissette said the change is needed because trucks cause problems by driving too fast.

“I think (trucks) cause accidents because they just zoom right through I-35 and I-40,” Morrissette told The Oklahoman.

Opponents say requiring trucks to drive at speeds slower than other vehicles does not promote safety on the highways.

“It does exactly the opposite by requiring that vehicles are constantly in conflict with each other. Lane changes and passing is constantly required to avoid crashes,” Todd Spencer, executive vice president for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, told Land Line.

Morrissette’s bill – HB2132 – is awaiting assignment to committee for the session that begins Feb. 5.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor