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Montana Senate Oks Higher Speeding Fine

Drivers in Montana could pay a fine of up to $80 for daytime speeding under a bill the state Senate narrowly endorsed Wednesday.

The 26-23 vote came on a bill by Sen. Barry Stang, D-St. Regis, to double the fine to $10 for speeders who exceed the posted limit by 11 to 15 mph. Those traveling 16 to 20 mph over the limit would pay $20; a violation of 21 to 25 mph would draw a $35 fine.

The fine would rise sharply after that: $60 for driving 26 to 30 mph over the limit; and an $80 fine for speeds in excess of 31 mph over the posted limit.

Violations would not be recorded on a driver’s record.

The vote Wednesday night sets the stage for a final Senate roll-call vote on Senate Bill 129. If it again passes, it would be sent to the House for consideration.

Montana has had a $5 minimum ticket since 1974, when Congress imposed a fuel-saving national 55 mph speed limit in the face of an Arab oil embargo. The Legislature decided on the minimal fine because Congress told the states they must enforce the new speed limit or lose federal highway funds.