Legislature(1997 - 1998)

03/25/1998 02:25 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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          SB 304 - REGULATION OF MOTOR VEHICLES & HWYS                         
                                                                               
SENATOR DAVE DONLEY, prime sponsor of SB 304, presented the bill               
and said the bill does two things: first, it doubles fines for                 
traffic violations committed in work zones and second, it adds a               
law requiring drivers to stay to the right on a divided highway                
unless it is necessary to move to the left.                                    
                                                                               
SENATOR MILLER agreed with the first part of the bill but expressed            
concern about the second, saying sometimes older people tend to                
drive in this lane and he is not sure we want to cite them. SENATOR            
DONLEY said there had been other provisions in the bill, these were            
the two that had survived.                                                     
                                                                               
SENATOR DONLEY said the bill will facilitate the flow of traffic               
and leave the left lane open for passing, for left turns and for               
use when dictated by traffic.                                                  
                                                                               
SENATOR PEARCE commented that there is no need to give the troopers            
another nitpicky reason to stop people. SENATOR DONLEY replied that            
most states have this rule and Alaska has not had it due to the                
absence of divided highways. SENATOR DONLEY said Alaskans therefore            
have no knowledge of how to drive on a divided highway. He added               
that the fine for this offense would be capped at $50.                         
                                                                               
Number 500                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. DON BOWMAN, Alaska State Trooper, testified in opposition to               
section two of the bill, saying it is unnecessary as driving under             
the speed limit in the left hand lane is already prohibited.                   
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked MR. BOWMAN if he worked patrol and MR. BOWMAN            
replied he currently did not. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR noted he has traveled            
a lot lately and has seen cars passing on the right as often as on             
the left.                                                                      
                                                                               
SENATOR PARNELL suggested the committee consider amending the bill.            
Without further discussion, SENATOR PARNELL moved the bill from                
committee with individual recommendations. Without objection, it               
was so ordered.                                                                

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