A bill nearing passage in the Utah Legislature would boost the fine for littering on highways in the state. The increase in fines would apply to “trucker bombs.”
Sponsored by Sen. Patricia Jones, D-Holladay, the measure would increase fines for repeat offenders of the state’s littering law. First-time offenders would continue to face at least $100 fines for such things as tossing containers of human waste along highways. Repeat offenses within three years would result in at least $250 fines.
Judges also could require offenders to serve eight hours of community service. Utah law now allows judges to mandate four hours of community service.
The House Transportation Committee voted 10-2 to advance the bill – SB44 – to the chamber floor. The Senate previously approved it.
Another provision in the bill addresses unsecured loads on cars and trucks. Debris falling from trucks could result in at least $250 fines. Repeat offenses within three years would result in $500 fines.
Other drivers would face at least $100 fines. Repeat offenses within three years would result in at least $250 fines.
Lt. Shawn Judd, section commander of the Utah Highway Patrol, recently told lawmakers that the number of debris-related crashes in the state continues to escalate. The cost involved to clear debris also is on the rise.
To help foot the bill, revenue from the fines would be put into a special fund to educate motorists on how to properly secure loads. The Utah Department of Transportation also would get money to help with roadside cleanup.
In addition, UDOT could set up a program to allow people to report violations.
To view other legislative activities of interest for Utah in 2008, click here.
– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor