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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dial Files Bill to Allow Small Town Officers to Enforce Speed Limits

State Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, wants to make right a mistake he said he made when he supported a piece of legislation in 1996.

The legislation stripped the ability of small town police officers – from municipalities of 19,000 or less – to enforce the state's speeding laws on interstates and in police jurisdictions of any city.

Dial has pre-filed a bill that would repeal sections of the Code of Alabama that contain the prohibitions, allowing small town police officers to do what they say is part of their job. A similar bill also is being pre-filed by Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster.

Dial, a former eight-term Democrat who returned to the Alabama Senate this year as a Republican, said he was convinced then by another lawmaker that small town police officers didn’t have the proper training to handle such policing. The legislation also was promoted as a way of preventing speed traps in small towns.

Dial said Tuesday that after the bill passed he learned that it was the senator's way of retaliating against small town police officers because he’d received speeding tickets in two small towns on his way home from a legislative session.

-- posted by Markeshia Ricks

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Location: Montgomery, AL, United States

South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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