Missouri lawmaker eyes truck lane restriction

| 1/14/2005

If a Missouri state lawmaker gets his way, large trucks would be prohibited from traveling in the left lane on highways with three or more lanes in the state.

Rep. Jack Jackson, R-Wildwood, has introduced a measure to restrict commercial vehicles to the right lanes of highways, except when making “a proper left turn or when otherwise directed by traffic markings, signs or signals.” Violators could be subject to a fine ranging from $200 to $300.

The Missouri Department of Transportation would be responsible for posting signs on the affected highways.

The Grain Valley, MO-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association opposes lane restrictions for any class of vehicle.

“Adopting lane restrictions would be an ill-advised step to take,” said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer. “Such restrictions invariably cause more problems than they fix. Trucks and other vehicles need to be able to move over a lane when necessary. It’s common courtesy, but this is also about highway safety.

“When you start restricting vehicles to certain lanes you end up with more vehicles tailgating and making unsafe passing maneuvers in all lanes. This isn’t good for congestion or highway safety.

“Lane restrictions that discourage smart, safe driving practices are just absurd.”

The bill – HB183 – is awaiting assignment to a committee.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor