Friday, January 23, 2009

Merrifield's Bill Discouraging Slow Mountain Drivers Moves On

The House gave preliminary approval today to a bill that would punish drivers on narrow mountain roads who hold up lines of traffic by driving too slowly.

HB 1042 cleared the chamber after rural legislators led by Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, led an unsuccessful effort to secure an exemption for farm vehicles and Rep. David Balmer, R-Centennial, failed to win a provision excusing trucks carrying hazardous waste from the proposed law.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Mike Merrifield, D-Colorado Springs, has argued that slow-moving vehicles are dangerous because they provoke drivers of vehicles behind them to attempt to pass when not advisable.

Merrifield has said that the bill would not require slower drivers to pull off the road if there is no safe place to do so.

The bill, if enacted into law, would allow law enforcement officers to cite a driver's operation of his or her motor vehicle at slow velocity is impeding the forward progress of five or more other motor vehicles

The bill must pass a third reading in the House before moving on to the Senate.