Truck lane restrictions to begin soon on Texas highway

| Thursday, March 27, 2003

Truck lane restrictions will start soon on Texas Highway 225 near Houston, The Pasadena Citizen reported March 26.

According to The Associated Press, a 1997 state law authorizes cities to restrict truckers from the fast lane of major highways during peak travel hours.

Houston was the first city in the state to implement the rule, acting in September 2000 to restrict lanes on an eight-mile stretch of I-10, roughly from I-610 to Sam Houston Parkway. Trucks were ordered to stay out of the far left lane from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, except when passing other vehicles.

A Texas Transportation Institute study conducted after Houston implemented the change found that accidents decreased 68 percent on that portion of I-10 over a nine-month period, with no deaths in the crashes that did occur. Houston officials then decided to expand the lane restrictions to portions of I-45 and State Highway 225.

Since then, a series of Houston suburbs have worked together to add the restriction to Highway 255 through their communities. Monday La Porte became the final city to approve the restriction, which will run from inner Houston to the Gulf Coast.

But the lanes will not take effect right away. The Citizen reported that Texas’ DOT is awaiting paperwork from La Porte, including copies of the new ordinance. The restriction will begin when those papers arrive.

Trucks that violate the lane restrictions will pay fines of up to $200 for their first offense.

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