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      Nixon signs highway emergencies legislation

      Traffic offenses committed near emergencies on Missouri highways could lead to new penalties under legislation signed by Gov. Jay Nixon. The legislation makes it a misdemeanor to pass within an emergency zone. Violations for speeding or passing within an emergency zone when responders are present would carry a $250 fine, plus any existing penalties. Nixon signed the measure Thursday. The measure also creates the offense of endangering an emergency responder. It would include passing within an emergency zone, speeding by at least 15 mph and using a lane that is not intended for motorists. Fines will range from up to $1,000 if no one is hurt to $10,000 if a responder is killed. Emergency zones include areas marked by emergency responders on or around the highway.