Kansas bill would use speed to determine Turnpike tolls

| 1/5/2009

A Kansas state senator wants to charge higher tolls on the Kansas Turnpike based on vehicle speed.

Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, has prefiled for consideration during the upcoming session a bill that would allow the Kansas Turnpike Authority to charge drivers extra if they speed on the road. Drivers’ speed would be determined by looking at the time vehicles entered and exited the turnpike. A new fee structure for affected drivers would be determined by the Turnpike Authority.

The speed limit on the 236-mile roadway that extends from Emporia to Kansas City, KS, is 70 mph.

Haley also offered the bill in 2007, but it failed to advance from committee.

Opponents say the effort unnecessarily meddles in turnpike board business. The turnpike authority primarily relies on toll collections to pay for roadwork and repairs.

One advantage touted by advocates for the effort is that a lower toll rate for law-abiding drivers could promote fuel economy.

The legislation would not interfere with the Kansas Highway Patrol’s efforts to patrol the turnpike.

Haley’s bill – SB4 – is awaiting assignment to committee for the session that opens Jan. 12.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Kansas in 2009, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor