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7/19/2012
Trainee cited for driving on restricted Independence Pass

A student driver for C.R. England of Ogden, UT, and his trainer have hopefully learned a valuable lesson: Pay attention to electronic message boards before heading onto a restricted route.

Colorado State Police cited new driver Jose Lara, 21, for careless driving and failure to obey a traffic signal. He nearly drove his tractor-trailer off the side of the Independence Pass around 10 p.m. on Monday, July 16. The pass, which is open approximately six months out of the year, is restricted for vehicles longer than 35 feet.

According to the Aspen Daily News, the pass was closed for nearly six hours as three tow trucks worked to pull Lara’s rig back onto the roadway. His trainer was in the cab.

This year, the Colorado Department of Transportation placed electronic message boards alerting drivers of the restriction at each end of the pass, with a place on each side for truckers to turn around.

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