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,'"