Slam the brakes on ‘slowpoke’ bill

The Colorado House is expected to consider a bill today that would authorize tickets and fines be issued to motorists driving less than the speed limit who are holding up five or more vehicles. It would require such slowpokes to pull over and allow others to pass.

The House ought to send it to the junk yard.

We’ve all been behind a slow-moving semi or motor home on a two-lane road, waiting for an opportunity to pass. It’s not fun.

But Colorado already has a law on the books making it a driving offense to impede traffic.

Democratic state Rep. Mike Merrifield of Colorado Springs just doesn’t like the way it’s being enforced.

So Merrifield introduced House Bill 1042, claiming that it simply attempts to better define what going too slow means.

But as Republicans and a few Democrats have noted, there are problems with the bill.

For one thing, it would make it far more difficult for heavily loaded trucks to use some of the state’s mountain roads, even if those highways offer the most efficient route. It could force some trucks to be left at the side of the road during heavy traffic times, causing traffic hazards. And it might cost the state a considerable amount of money if it has to build more highway pullouts to accommodate slower drivers.

According to news accounts, Merrifield introduced the bill in frustration over being repeatedly stuck in traffic on mountain passes due to slow-moving vehicles. But legislation shouldn’t be drafted out of personal pique. And the House shouldn’t adopt an unnecessary bill just to satisfy one irked lawmaker.


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