Utah passes trucking-related bills

| Thursday, April 18, 2002

Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt recently signed two bills into law impacting truckers. HB235, a bill designed to protect highway patrol and other emergency personnel during roadside stops, requires drivers of all highway vehicles to maintain a safe distance and reduce speed when approaching an emergency vehicle, tow truck or highway maintenance vehicle parked by the road with their lights flashing.

The new law requires drivers to merge into the furthest lane away from an emergency vehicle, if practical, with regard to safety and traffic conditions. It also requires all drivers to yield the right of way and move toward the right-hand edge or curb of the highway and stop upon the approach of an emergency vehicle using audible or visual signals.

Another bill (SB52) prohibits tractor-trailers, with some exceptions, from driving in the left lane of three-lane highways in certain areas. The new law allows the state Transportation Department or local authorities to designate specific lanes of travel for any type of vehicle on a highway or portion of a highway under their jurisdiction. Any driver found in violation of the restriction will be charged with a misdemeanor.

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