The New Mexico Legislature is considering two bills targeting truckers. One would lower the speed limit for trucks from 75 mph to 65 mph on interstate highways. The other initially raised penalties for truckers for using the left lane of roads when not passing; it was amended to apply to all drivers, not just truckers.
“I think it’s time to slow them down a little bit,” said Republican Sen. Patrick Lyons in an interview with the Associated Press. “It’s an abuse of power and no respect for the law that has brought this (bill) about.”
Opponents have argued the bill discriminates against a certain class of driver and will punish all truckers for the transgressions of a few. “We’re penalizing the union drivers who aren’t the problem, because the independents are going down the road like a bat our of hell,” said Democratic Sen. Cisco McSorley.
Teamsters representative Bob Younger believes the solution is increased police patrols. He also said that lowering speed limits for truckers would hurt those who get paid by the mile. But Republican Sen. Skip Vernon, sponsor of the bill, said public safety should take precedence over the economic interests of truckers or their employers.