Virginia governor authorizes keeping trucks to the right on I-81

| 4/26/2004

Gov. Mark Warner signed legislation into law April 14 that requires truck drivers to stay to the right when driving on Interstate 81 in Virginia.

The new law, which takes effect July 1, prohibits trucks from driving in the left-most lane on sections of I-81 where there are more than two lanes in one direction. The bill – HB1346 – also requires trucks traveling at least 15 mph slower than the posted speed limit to keep to the far right of the interstate on stretches of two-lane road.

Another bill that could impact I-81 also has been sent to the governor.

HB1376, sponsored by Delegate William Fralin, R-Roanoke, would allow the state to vary toll rates to reward drivers who travel in “off-peak hours” such as overnight. Fralin told The Roanoke Times the bill would give the Virginia Department of Transportation the flexibility to adjust toll rates on roads built under the Public-Private Transportation Act.

Virginia transportation officials gave preliminary approval in February to a plan that would widen I-81 to eight lanes, with separate lanes for cars and trucks. Under the plan – submitted by a consortium of private builders known as STAR Solutions – the expansion would be paid for, in part, with toll money collected from both cars and trucks.