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South Dakota Kills Bill on Overweight Trucks

October 3, 2000

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The South Dakota legislature has killed a bill that would have made it easier for some truckers to avoid overweight tickets.

The House Transportation Committee voted 11-1 against the bill. HB 1129 would have given drivers of overweight grain trucks the option of shifting weight or unloading some grain to avoid penalties, or accepting penalties and driving to the nearest grain elevator to unload, reports the Associated Press.
Opponents said HB1129 was unfair in giving special breaks to grain haulers and "gives a grain hauler a license to destroy our property (roads)."
Proponents said the bill would have helped truckers whose loads shift, despite being loaded legally initially.
State law already gives farm trucks hauling from fields to elevators less than 50 miles away a 10 percent leeway.
A related bill, HB1130, would have killed fines for truckers who were overweight because their rigs were coated with snow and ice, if truckers could show they weren't overweight when first loaded. That bill died in committee, as well. A Highway Patrol spokesman testified that the patrol does not weigh trucks that have accumulated ice and snow while driving in South Dakota, but the bill would give truckers from outside the state no reason to clean their vehicles of snow and ice accumulated from driving in other states.

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