If a Missouri state lawmaker gets his way, large trucks traveling through the state would no longer be forbidden to use the far left lane on certain roads through Kansas City and St. Louis.
Since 2007, trucks heavier than 24,000 pounds are prohibited from driving in the left-most lane of Interstate 70 within three miles of the intersection with state Route 370 in St. Charles County.
A year later, the rule went statewide. Trucks with a registered gross weight in excess of 48,000 pounds now are prohibited from driving in the far left lane of “urbanized” roadways with at least three lanes of traffic in each direction.
Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer, R-Odessa, wants to do away with the lane ban to allow large trucks to merge left for passing only. He introduced a bill that would repeal the lane rule on trucks in excess of 48,000 pounds.
Advocates for keeping trucks out of the far left lane say it makes roadways safer for all travelers.
Officials with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association say that sentiment couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Lane restrictions simply make it more difficult for vehicles to move freely and safely on our highways while often creating a barrier to vehicles trying to enter or exit our highways,” said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer.
In addition, Spencer pointed out that Missouri law already has restrictions to keep all traffic to the right except to pass.
OOIDA encourages all Missouri members to urge their state House lawmakers to endorse the measure.
The bill, HB1983, could be considered as early as this week in the House Transportation Committee.
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