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Bill to expand Colorado chain law to additional interstates, keep big rigs out of the left lane

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A new bipartisan bill would expand Colorado chain law, crack down on CMV speeding, and keep semis out of the left lane on a portion of I-70 in an effort to reduce crashes and cut down on road closures.

The Commercial Vehicle Highway Safety Measures bill (SB24-100) was introduced by Colorado State Senator Dylan Roberts last week during the start of the 2024 regular session.

If passed, the bill would enact several different commercial vehicle restrictions in an effort to cut down on crashes and prevent unnecessary road closures.

See below for a rundown of the proposed actions set for in the bill:

  1. Expand Chain Law. Currently, Colorado requires commercial vehicles to carry chains on I-70 from September 1 through May 31 each year between milepost 133 in Dotsero and milepost 259 in Morrison. The bill would expand this requirement to I-25 and any interstate, U.S. highway, and state highway west of I-25.
  2. Establish Speed Limit Enforcement Zones. The bill would allow the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to  establish heightened speed limit enforcement zones (zone) within public highways in Glenwood Canyon on I-70 eastbound from milepost 116.0 to milepost 131.0 and westbound from milepost 118.5 to milepost 131.0 where there are safety concerns related to commercial motor vehicle drivers exceeding the posted speed limits. CDOT would be required to post signage informing commercial drivers of the increased fines in the area.
  3. Left Lane Ban. The bill would also forbid trucks in the far left lane I-70 between milepost 116 in Glenwood Springs and milepost 259 in Morrison during all conditions on that highway except to safely pass a vehicle driving under the posted speed limit.
  4. Increased Speeding Fines For CMV Drivers. If the bill passes, any commercial motor vehicle driver who commits a speeding violation in a zone would be subject to double fines and surcharges.
  5. Increase Authority For POE Officers. This provision of the bill would ensure that a port of entry (POE) officer has all the powers of a peace officer when enforcing highway closures and the state’s winter traction device law.

Additionally, the bill would order a study to determine if it is feasible to add new chain up stations funded by the proposed increased CMV speeding fines in Glenwood Canyon.

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