Independence Pass Bill Awaits Governor’s Approval

Independence Pass

A bill that would increase the penalties for truck drivers who illegally use the Independence Pass is one step closer to becoming law.

Today, Colorado Senate voted 22-12 to increase trucking fines on Independence Pass, from $500 to $2,000.  House Bill D with would raise the fine for illegal use of the Independence Pass on Highway 82 between Twin Lakes and Aspen.

Last week, the Colorado Senate Transportation Committee unanimously passed the bill.

The House has already approved the bill.

For years, local officials have worked to keep trucks off the pass, but they say many drivers have ignored the 35-foot restriction.

The current fine of $111 is not enough of a deterrent, say the bills advocates.

“Truckers have told deputies that they ignore the 35-foot restriction and an average fine of $111 because using the pass can save time and gas compared to driving around it, DiSalvo said Wednesday. But doing so and getting stuck could hamper emergency responses — hence the higher fine for blocking — and endanger other motorists, bicyclists or the pristine valley. The practice also causes road damage and leads to traffic jams, officials have said,” the Aspen Daily News reported.

The Colorado Motor Carriers Association has come out in support of the bill and many believe the bill will likely be passed.

The bill now moves to Governor John Hickenlooper’s desk for final approval.