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Missouri passes law forbidding unsafe roadside inspections


Missouri lawmakers recently passed new legislation containing a provision that would prevent law enforcement officers from performing roadside commercial vehicle inspections under some circumstances.

On June 1, Missouri governor Mike Parson signed SB-881 into law.

Per the new law, law enforcement officers are not permitted to perform roadside inspections in an area where the speed limit is 40 m.p.h. or higher unless there is enough room on the shoulder to do so safely:

“No safety inspection shall be performed on the shoulder of any highway with a posted speed limit in excess of forty miles per hour, except that safety inspections may be performed on the shoulder at any entrance or exit of such highway where there is adequate space on the shoulder to safely perform such inspection.”

The new roadside inspection provision will go into effect on August 28, 2018.

A previous version of the provision sponsored by State Senator Dave Schatz would have forbidden roadside inspections on any shoulder where the posted speed limit is 40 m.p.h. or higher. Schatz championed the provision because he believes that roadside inspections are unsafe and an invasion of driver privacy. “I’ve talked with the highway patrol and these roadside inspections are unsafe for the driving public. Vehicles are being pulled over just for the purposes of these random safety checks and that’s not right. If the driving public was pulled over for these random things they wouldn’t stand for it,” he told the Missourian.

Schatz, who operates “Schatz Underground Inc.”, has previously singled out the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department’s commercial vehicle enforcement (CVEU) for allegedly performing unnecessary random roadside inspections in order to meet a quota. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department has denied that they have ticket quotas.


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