Wyoming bill to create split speed limits fails to advance

| 3/10/2008

A bill in the Wyoming House that called for adopting split speed limits in the state has failed to advance for consideration.

Sponsored by Rep. Steve Harshman, R-Natrona, the measure – HB164 – failed to meet a February deadline to advance from committee, effectively killing it for the year. A similar effort was killed three years ago.

The bill sought to set the speed limit for large trucks at 65 mph on the state’s interstate highways. All other vehicles would have been permitted to continue to travel at the current 75 mph limit.

During the 2005 legislative session, a bill to create a 10-mph speed differential for cars and trucks advanced to the Senate floor. The Senate vote was 15-15, failing to produce the simple majority needed to advance the bill to the House for further consideration.

Advocates for slowing trucks said the change is needed because many out-of-state trucks drive too fast. Others say slowing large trucks would help reduce the number of wrecks in the state.

Opponents said requiring trucks to drive at speeds 10 mph slower than other vehicles does not promote safety on highways. Vehicles traveling at the same speed minimize the need for passing, lane changes, tailgating, and other maneuvers that create opportunities for drivers to make mistakes, they say.

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– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor