A new Missouri bill, just signed by Governor Jay Nixon, will increase the penalty for speeding, passing or driving carelessly in an emergency zone.
SB 282 was introduced by republican Jay Wasson earlier this year.
The bill states that a person commits the offense of endangering an emergency responder, who is in an active emergency zone, if that person:
(1) Exceeds the posted speed limit by 15 mph or more;
(2) Passes another vehicle;
(3) Fails to stop for a flagman, an emergency responder, or a traffic control signal in the active emergency zone;
“Such a zone is defined under this act as an area that is visibly marked by emergency responders on, or around, a highway, and where an active emergency or incident removal is temporarily occurring,” the bill states.
If caught, violators will face a fine of $35 in addition to other possible fines. Subsequent offenders will face a $75 fine.
SB 282 makes it a Class C misdemeanor to pass another vehicle in an active emergency zone. If found guilty of speeding or passing in an emergency zone, a fine of $250 will be issued. A subsequent offender will receive a $300 fine.
“When no injury or death results, a person who pleads guilty to, or is convicted of, endangering an emergency responder shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000,” the bill states.
These fines will apply to any driver who:
(4) Drives through, or around, an active emergency zone via any lane that is not for motorists;
(5) Physically assaults, threatens, or attempts to assault an emergency responder with a motor vehicle or other instrument; or
(6) Intentionally strikes or moves barrels, barriers, signs or other devices for a reason other than to avoid an obstacle, emergency, or to protect the health and safety of another person.