South Carolina bans rigs from left lane

| 10/23/2001

Tractor-trailers will soon be prohibited from driving in the left lanes of South Carolina's widest highways under a rule approved by the state Transportation Department Commission. The new rule is scheduled to go into effect by early 2002.

On most interstates that are three lanes or wider in each direction, large trucks ( those with 3 or more axles) will be restricted to the two right lanes. Trucks found in violation of the ban face $100 fines.

The new rule was passed despite findings from engineers that when trucks are restricted to the right lanes, cars struggle to merge onto or off of the highways. "This is not an absolute answer, but this is a start," Bayles Mack, a South Carolina transportation commissioner, told Land Line.

Mack pointed out that the DOT has the authority to enact or change rules if it is determined to not be effective, while the state legislature would be required to pass legislation. "If it shows it's absolutely not working at all, and clogging traffic and making things worse, I'll be the first one to say, 'Let's change it,'" he said.