Wyoming bills boost vehicle speeds, truck fine

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Monday, February 04, 2013

Two bills moving through the Wyoming statehouse would increase vehicle speeds by 5 mph on certain roadways and increase truck fines for driving on closed roads.

Wyoming law now sets speeds for all vehicles on limited access roads at 65 mph.

The Senate voted 28-2 to advance a bill to the House that would allow the Wyoming Department of Transportation to determine whether stretches of affected roads could accommodate faster travel. Specifically, the agency could consider bumping speeds to 70 mph for cars and trucks.

Advocates point out that neighboring Montana already permits travelers to drive 70 mph on the same types of roadway.

A fiscal note on the bill estimates expenses of nearly $270,000 to study and implement the higher speed limit on approved stretches of highway.

SF57 is awaiting consideration in the House Transportation Committee.

House lawmakers unanimously approved another bill that is intended to increase the deterrent for truck drivers who ignore road closures, namely Teton Pass. HB179 is in the Senate Transportation Committee.

Currently, Wyoming fines violators $100 for driving on affected roadways with the possibility of up to 30 days in jail.

The bill would increase the fine to $750. Possible jail time would remain unchanged.

Rep. Marti Halverson’s bill targets any truck driver “who fails to observe any signs, marker, warning, notice, or direction” to stay off roads.

Another truck bill that died sought to prohibit trucks from passing smaller vehicles during inclement weather. SF81 would have affected truckers driving on interstates and highways when the speed limit is lowered 10 mph because of weather.

The bill was withdrawn from consideration.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Wyoming, click here.

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