House Bill No. 99
Introduced By trexler
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act
creating a separate penalty for speeding in a construction zone. ESTABLISHING
SPEED REGULATIONS IN A CONSTRUCTION ZONE AND A WORK ZONE; DEFINING "CONSTRUCTION
ZONE" AND "WORK ZONE"; DOUBLING THE PENALTY FOR SPEEDING IN A WORK ZONE; AND AMENDING
SECTION 61-8-303, MCA."
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Refer to Introduced [First Reading] Bill
Strike everything after the enacting clause and insert:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Speed restrictions in construction zone and work zone -- definitions. (1) As used in this section, the following definitions apply:
(a) "Construction zone" means an area on a public highway or on the adjacent right-of-way where construction, repair, maintenance, or survey work is being performed by the department of transportation, a local authority, a utility company, or a private contractor under contract with the department of transportation or a local authority. A construction zone does not include a work zone.
(b) "Public highway" has the same meaning as in 60-1-103.
(c) "Work zone" means the area where the construction, repair, maintenance, or survey work is actually taking place. A work zone connects to but is not part of a construction zone.
(2) A person may not operate a motor vehicle in a construction zone or in a work zone on a public highway in excess of the speed limit posted in the construction zone or the work zone. The speed limit must be set by the department of transportation or the local authority based on traffic conditions or the condition of the construction, repair, maintenance, or survey project.
(3) (a) The department of transportation, the local authority, the utility company, or the private contractor shall post signs that conform to the department of transportation's manual on uniform traffic control devices and that indicate the boundaries of the construction zone and the work zone and the speed limit in effect within both zones.
(b) The department of transportation, the local authority, the utility company, or the private contractor shall clearly indicate at the boundary of a work zone that a person who violates the speed restriction in the work zone is subject to the fine provided in subsection (4)(a).
(c) The boundaries of the work zone may not exceed 500 feet in advance of and beyond the actual construction activity.
(4) (a) A person convicted of a violation of a speed restriction in a work zone is guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon arrest and conviction, the person shall be punished by a fine of not less than double the penalty provided for in 61-8-711(2).
(b) A person convicted of a violation of a speed restriction in a construction zone is guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon arrest and conviction, the person is subject to the penalty provided for in 61-8-711(2).
Section 2. Section 61-8-303, MCA, is amended to read:
"61-8-303. Speed restrictions -- basic rule. (1) A person operating or driving a vehicle of any character on a public highway of this state shall drive the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner and at a rate of speed no greater than is reasonable and proper under the conditions existing at the point of operation, taking into account the amount and character of traffic, condition of brakes, weight of vehicle, grade and width of highway, condition of surface, and freedom of obstruction to the view ahead. The person operating or driving the vehicle shall drive the vehicle so as not to unduly or unreasonably endanger the life, limb, property, or other rights of a person entitled to the use of the street or highway.
(2) When no special hazard exists that requires lower speed for compliance with subsection (1), the speed of a vehicle not in excess of the limits specified in this section or established as authorized in 61-8-309 through 61-8-311 and 61-8-313 is lawful, but a speed in excess of the following limits is unlawful:
(a) 25 miles per hour in an urban district;
(b) 35 miles per hour on a highway under construction or repair or on a highway being surveyed, unless the department
establishes and posts a different limit due to traffic conditions or the condition of the construction, repair, or survey project; (c)(b) 55 miles per hour in other locations during the nighttime, except that the nighttime speed limit on completed
sections of interstate highways is 65 miles per hour.
(3) "Daytime" means from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. "Nighttime" means at any other hour.
(4) The speed limits set forth in this section may be altered by the transportation commission or a local authority as
authorized in 61-8-309, 61-8-310,
and 61-8-313, and [section 1].
(5) The driver of a vehicle shall, consistent with subsection (1), drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon a narrow or winding roadway, and when a special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway condition."
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Codification instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 61, chapter 8, part 3, and the provisions of Title 61, chapter 8, part 3, apply to [section 1].