Alabama bill would give small towns greater speed enforcement authority

| 12/13/2007

A bill in the Alabama House that is expected to draw consideration during the upcoming regular session would give small towns the authority to ticket speeders on interstate highways. It is the second year in a row the effort will be considered in the statehouse.

Rep. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, has renewed his effort to repeal state law that prohibits towns with fewer than 19,000 residents from enforcing speed limits on interstates within their city limits.

Ward offered the same legislation during the 2007 session but it was killed in committee.

Supporters say the law should be changed because there are not enough state troopers for speed enforcement. They also say putting more local officers on the interstates would result in safer travel.

Opponents say the ban is necessary to prevent small towns from creating speed traps on interstates and using ticket revenue to fill city coffers.

The bill – HB22 – is in the House Public Safety Committee awaiting consideration during the session that begins Feb. 5.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Alabama in 2007, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor