Stiffer fines for chain law violations advance to Colorado Senate

Mike

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The Colorado House approved a revised effort that would boost fines for truck drivers who fail to chain up during bad weather. The state also will allot nearly $2.5 million to build and expand new Interstate 70 chain-up spots.

Existing Colorado law fines truckers $100 for failure to put on snow chains. If an unchained truck results in a blocked highway the fine jumps to $500. Drivers don’t have points added to their commercial driver’s license for the offense.

The House voted 56-9 Monday, April 2, to send a bill to the Senate that would increase the base fine to $500. Sponsored by Rep. Dan Gibbs, D-Silverthorne, the fine would double to $1,000 if trucks not in compliance block traffic.

Supporters say the steeper penalties are needed because truck drivers and their companies simply write off the current fine as “the cost of doing business.” They say the need to address the issue was highlighted this winter when portions of Interstate 70 were closed 15 times in Colorado because of chainless trucks.

Owner-operator and OOIDA Life Member Jim Mathews of Greeley, CO, said it’s inaccurate to depict truckers as dismissive of fines.

“We’re all out here trying to make a living. Somehow the rumor spread we make lots of money.” Mathews told Land Line Magazine.
 
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