Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has signed a bill into law boosting the fine for littering on highways in the state. The increase in fines will apply to “trucker bombs.”
The new law, previously SB44, won widespread support in the Senate and House after changes were made. It takes effect July 1.
The final version increases 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. Existing Utah law allows judges to mandate four hours of community service.
Another provision in the bill addresses unsecured loads on cars and trucks. Debris falling from trucks would 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 will be put into a special fund to educate motorists on how to properly secure loads. The Utah Department of Transportation also will get money to help with roadside cleanup.
A provision was removed from the bill in the House that allowed UDOT to 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