Most Coloradoans and even those visiting from out of state know the frustration of being stuck or delayed on I-70 when a semi-truck fails to use chains and causes an accident and/or highway closure. I-70 was shut down 116 hours last year while tractor-trailer rigs without chains spun out on ice and snow and blocked the road. And what most of us don’t realize is that under current Colorado law, semi-truck drivers who fail to put on chains when the chain law is in effect face a mere $100.00 fine. Many truckers see this fine as the cost of doing business when they’re trying to get through the mountain passes on deadlines.
There is good news, however. Yesterday, the Colorado House Transportation Committee unanimously passed HB-1229, a revision to the current law which would impose a fine of $500.00 if a semi-truck driver fails to put on chains. This fine doubles to $1,000.00 if the truck blocks traffic. Even the trucking industry is in favor of this bill. ‘We realize there is a problem up there,” said Greg Fulton, president of the Colorado Motor Carriers Association. “We’re committed to solving that problem.”
This bill, if approved and made law, will also add additional chain up stations along I-70. HB-1229 has the potential to significantly reduce the numbers of truck related accidents and fatalities that usually plague the mountainous portion of I-70 during the winter months. Let’s hope the Senate and Governor Ritter agree.
For more information, read the full article from the Denver Post.