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Lawmakers toughen speeding laws

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RALEIGH (AP) -- North Carolina lawmakers have approved a bill to make it harder for those who speed to seek lesser charges. The House had defeated a version of the bill late Wednesday. But Speaker Joe Hackney of Orange County convinced lawmakers to consider it again yesterday. A conference committee worked out differences between the House and Senate versions late last night. It now goes to Governor Mike Easley for his consideration. The bill would prevent motorists going 25 miles an hour over the speed limit to plead to a charge of improper equipment to receive what's called a "prayer for judgment," essentially a free pass. An improper equipment plea would be placed on the driver's record so court officials would know if a person is a repeat offender. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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