The Missouri House Transportation Committee will hold a hearing this afternoon on HB 444, which would fine truckers $1,000 for speeding 6 mph above the 70-mph interstate speed limit in the state.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. will be testifying at the hearing to voice its opposition to the bill. OOIDA notes that for many drivers, a single violation during a given year would mean a 3% to 5% reduction in annual take-home pay.
The Missouri Motor Carriers Assn., on the other hand, supports the bill.
“We’ve had a number of complaints here at the association about excessive speeding by trucks,” says association president George Burras in an interview with RoadStar Radio News. “It’s simply an effort to address the problem of the very few commercial drivers that are using excessive speed. I don’t think the fine’s excessive; I think the speed’s excessive.”
Burras says the bill is not anti-truck, and that, in fact, the representative who is sponsoring the bill grew up in trucking.
OOIDA, however, views the bill as very anti-truck, especially since it only targets commercial drivers.
“We consider this proposed legislation as just one more harassment of our members by way of excessive unrealistic penalties that have no direct connection with highway safety,” says OOIDA in a statement. “Just imagine what an incentive $1,000-per-stop will be to law enforcement agencies to abandon their much-needed patrolling of the more dangerous two-lane highways and city streets, in order to increase their radar traps on Missouri interstates.”