A bill in Arkansas would mandate a stiff penalty for speeding truckers -- $500 to $1,000 for driving over 70 mph on Arkansas roads.
Current law varies widely among jurisdictions, but speeding fines are generally hundreds of dollars lower than the minimum set by the bill, introduced yesterday in the state House and Senate.
State Police Col. Tom Mars says the problem seems to be mostly with independent truckers from out of state using Interstates 30 and 40 across Arkansas. “A vehicle that weighs that much poses an extraordinary threat to people when it goes that fast,” Mars says. “Everyone knows that trucks that are driving that fast to extraordinary damage to the interstate highways.”
The bill would apply to any vehicle weighing at least 20,000 pounds. Proceeds from the fines would go to a special Arkansas State Police fund.
Lane Kidd, president of the Arkansas Motor Carriers Assn., helped draft the bill.
The Owner Operator Independent Drivers Assn., on the other hand, believes the fine is excessive, according to spokesman Todd Spencer. “We will be encouraging our members to communicate with lawmakers in Arkansas on that particular topic. Most truckers are going to feel like that is too high.”
To the north, the Missouri state legislature is also considering separate bills that would levy higher fines for speeding truckers. One bill would impose a $1,000 fine for going 6 mph or more over the limit. That bill is still in committee, says Spencer, and has not seen further action. Another bill, which has been approved by the House and sent on to the Senate, would phase in a fine starting at $100 for 6 mph over, $200 for 7 mph over, etc., up to $1,000.