KEEP TRUCKS OFF OUR HIGHWAYS: Proposed Georgia Law Would Send Truckers To Jail For Driving Home
UPDATE: Controversial Bill Targeting Truckers Is Withdrawn
January 18, 2019 – Less than 36 hours after filing new proposed legislation that would have prohibited semi-trucks from operating on Georgia state highways when not “engaging in the pickup or delivery of persons or property or traveling to or from such pickup or delivery,” the author of Senate Bill 23 has withdrawn the bill.
In a post on her Facebook page on Friday, Georgia State Senator Donzella James said she was withdrawing the legislation. However, the Senator said she was doing so because “we have another way to address the problem which will not require any legislation.
Senator James did not elaborate on her new plan. We’ve reached out to Senator James’ office for additional information and will keep you posted.
Atlanta, Georgia – Three Georgia state lawmakers have introduced legislation that would prohibit semi-trucks from operating on state highways when not “engaging in the pickup or delivery of persons or property or traveling to or from such pickup or delivery.”
State Senators Donzella James, Harold Jones, and Michael Rhett filed Senate Bill 23 on Wednesday in an effort to limit the travel of truck drivers and semi-trucks along state highways. All three are Democrats.
The legislation reads:
“No person shall drive or move on any highway any trailer or semitrailer unless such trailer or semitrailer is engaging in the pickup or delivery of persons or property or traveling to or from such pickup or delivery.”
The bill does provide an exception for traveling to or from such pickup or delivery.
Critics of the bill are already firing back by questioning law enforcements ability to enforce such a law since officials must have a lawful reason to detain a vehicle or truck. Opponents argue checking the purpose of travel would not meet a lawful threshold for probable cause or suspicion of operating illegally.
Supporters of the bill point to the following language which would regulate enforcement:
“Any vehicle suspected of being operated in violation of this article chapter may be the subject of an inspection conducted by any law enforcement officer who has reason to believe such violation is occurring, without the necessity of obtaining a warrant to permit such inspection.”
Simply put, this legislation would not only allow but require law enforcement to detain truck drivers they have “reason to believe” the truck is not en route for delivery or pickup. The proposed law would make any violation a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
This proposed law targeting truckers comes amid mounting pressure on truckers from lawmakers in states like Rhode Island and Indiana who have imposed hefty tolls on semi-trucks.
It is not yet clear if this new legislation in Georgia has a realistic chance to pass. TNN will continue to follow the developments.
Click HERE to read the entire piece of legislation.