New Nebraska law targets ‘super speeders’

| Thursday, February 21, 2008

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman signed a bill into law that increases maximum speeding penalties. A measure still moving through the statehouse would route more revenue toward the completion of a roadway in the northeastern portion of the state.

Spurred by motorists driving in excess of 100 mph on the West Dodge Expressway, lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a bill to fine so-called “super speeders” $300 and tack a four-point deduction on driver’s licenses. Soon thereafter, Heineman signed the bill into law. It takes effect in mid-July.

State law already authorizes speeders to face up to $200 fines and a three-point deduction for exceeding the posted speed limit by at least 20 mph. Drivers can lose their licenses when they accumulate 12 points in any two-year period.

The new law, previously LB621, adds another level of fine amounts. It applies the new penalties to those caught speeding by more than 35 mph on roadways in the state – including interstates and residential areas.

Supporters said the higher penalties should help keep motorists mindful of their speeds. In return, it would help cut down on wrecks. Opponents said they are concerned the measure could be used to set up speed traps.

Another bill before lawmakers would allocate $73 million of the state’s cash reserve fund to the highway fund. Sponsored by Sponsored by Sen. Joel Johnson of Kearney, the measure would authorize the money to be used to construct 22 miles of four-lane highway between Columbus and Fremont.

The portion of roadway is all that remains left to complete the northeast expressway system from Norfolk to Omaha via Columbus and Fremont.

Supporters say the expressway would boost economic development throughout the state.

The measure – LB1139 – is in the Unicameral’s Appropriations Committee.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Nebraska in 2008, click here.

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