Highway Rescue Fines (Audio)
By Jenifer Jones
A bill passed by the South Dakota Senate makes getting stranded on a closed highway a lot more expensive. Senator Mike Vehle of Mitchell says under Senate Bill 62 motorists who have to be rescued from a closed highway will pay a $1,000 civil penalty. They will also pay for the cost of the rescue, up to $10,000. Vehle says the current fine of $105 just isn’t enough.
“What a lot of people say, you know, for $105, I’ll take my chances,” Vehle says. “Also truckers will say the same thing. They’ll look at it as a cost of doing business. You know, that truck sitting still isn’t doing any good. So I’m going to take the chance of a $105 fine even if I am caught.”
Vehle says the bill states drivers must be given suitable notice of road closures. He says it is easy to find out if roads are closed, so officials will assume that stranded travelers knew the roads were not open.
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