Fleet Management

Arkansas Police Seek Changes in Traffic Laws

January 17, 2001

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The Arkansas State Police have nearly 30 things they would like to see changed in the state's traffic code, including prohibiting tractor-trailers from following too closely behind cars.

According to a report in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Arkansas State Police Director Col. Tom Mars has been working for two years to review outdated and confusing laws, at the request of state Rep. Sarah Agee. The state police is not sponsoring any bills, but Mars and Agee will discuss the suggestions and Agee will look for colleagues to sponsor the changes.
Although the Arkansas code currently requires tractor-trailers to keep a distance of 200 feet between them, "it doesn't say anything about them staying 200 feet away from a minivan full of children or a small car," Mars told the paper.
Another suggested amendment to the traffic code would clarify that large trucks can be fined only $50 for every mile over the speed limit in a 65-mph zone on interstate highways. Some small towns, Mars said, have been applying the law to trucks traveling on city streets in 35-mph zones. That was not the intent of the law, he said.
Another of Mars' suggestions is to require motorists to yield to all emergency vehicles parked on or near a road with their lights flashing. At least five Arkansas state troopers and countless other law enforcement officers have been killed over the years by passing vehicles hitting them when they had someone pulled over on the side of the highway.
"Most motorists don't make any effort to give police officers any room, and troopers are literally getting their hats blown off by passing trucks," Mars told the paper. "Now we're asking legislators to tell the public … we want the traffic to move to the left lane."

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