It’s been a yo-yo for Senate File 3.
Originally, the bill was intended to help law enforcement — through the use of traffic cameras — catch truckers who illegally use Teton Pass.
Then it was expanded to allow the use of traffic cameras or “automated vehicle identification systems” to catch speeders in construction zones across the state– something the Wyoming Department of Transportation favored.
But it was brought back to its original form on Monday out of concern that the expanded legislation would ultimately fail.
At issue, according to Sen. Stephen Pappas, R-Cheyennne, were unfounded concerns that the legislation would encroach on peoples’ privacy.
“It’s sad to me that for political reasons we’re going to sacrifice safety just because of … folks who, frankly, don’t understand the bill. They haven’t ready the bill probably,” Pappas said on the Senate Floor.
He said misinformation in emails sent to legislators presented concerns that all Wyoming license plates were going to be scanned for “Big Brother.”
“There are just so many emails that aren’t accurate,” he said. “And for us to cave into this, to me, it’s a travesty.
“Because the intent of the bill is to get people in construction zones to slow down,” he continued. “That’s all. We’re not going to put red light cameras anywhere to find people.”
Pappas’ disappointment was echoed by Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Landen who said he was also upset with the inaccurate emails.
“My frustration rests with really where we are in our culture today,” Landen said. “Because there’s a lot of misinformation, and frankly nefarious emails which were flying around on this bill.”
“I’m sorry about that because there was some good purpose for the bill, but I think this gets us back to where we can make that a safe mountain pass,” he added.
Ultimately the legislation passed on third reading by a vote of 19 – 11. It will now head to the House for a review by representatives.