25 February 2006
Do something, even if it's wrong
About eleventeen-bazillion bills get introduced into the State Legislature every session, and I suspect not even the lobbyists can keep track of all of them. House Bill 2743, by Ryan Kiesel (D-Seminole), got through committee mostly unnoticed; Tom Elmore dropped me a line about it, and I decided I'd give it a read.
A. For the purposes of creating a free-flow of traffic and the promotion of public safety, certain motor vehicles shall be permitted to bypass a required stop pursuant to subsection B of this section.
B. Any motor vehicle required to stop at a weigh station located on the highways of this state, pursuant to the size, weight and load provisions under Section 14-101 et seq. of Title 47 of the Oklahoma Statutes, shall be allowed to bypass such weigh station when the station is at full occupancy. Full occupancy shall be determined by a painted line and sign at a designated location on the exit lane that allows access to the weigh station. When a motor vehicle comes to a stop behind the other motor vehicles on the exit lane for the weigh station and any part of that motor vehicle is on or over the designated line, then the station is at full occupancy. The designation of the line shall be determined by the Department of Public Safety and an agreement for the placement of any sign shall be made with the Department of Transportation.
I have to admire the simplicity of this bill: "Weigh station too crowded? Just speed on by!" Kiesel's press release contains this explanation:
"[E]ven if the legislature appropriates the money for the renovation of our weigh stations, it could still be more than a decade before the safety concerns caused by congestion are remedied and House Bill 2743 gives us the opportunity to address this situation now."
Kiesel drafted the legislation in response to fatal traffic accidents in which semi-trucks waiting at weigh stations backed up into interstate traffic and were then struck from behind by passenger vehicles.
Oh. I see. Because we have inattentive drivers in cars, we must occasionally waive the laws for truckers.
Obvious question: if the problem is inadequate weigh stations, why are we not spending the money to upgrade them?Posted at 8:09 AM to Soonerland