Indiana bills seek higher speeds, lane restrictions

| Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The speed limits for all drivers traveling the Indiana Toll Road and rural interstates would increase if legislation proposed in the state’s General Assembly is approved.

Another proposal is intended to keep slow-moving traffic out of the left lane on the state’s multilane highways. It includes a provision to restrict trucks to the far right hand lane on highways with three or more lanes.

A bill – SB217 – offered by Sen. Greg Server, R-Evansville, would raise the speed limit from 60 mph to 65 mph for large trucks and from 65 mph to 70 mph for all other vehicles on interstates outside areas with a population of at least 50,000.

A second bill – HB1393 – sponsored by Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Howe, would authorize the higher speeds along the Indiana Toll Road.

Both bills are before their respective transportation committees.

The Indiana Department of Transportation would be responsible for posting signs on roadways reflecting changes in state law.

Rep. Vern Tincher, D-Riley, has introduced a measure that would restrict all vehicles from the far left lane on interstates.

The bill – HB1372 – would also require large trucks, which currently are able to drive in the right-most lanes on highways with three or more lanes in the state, to travel only in the far right lane. Trucks already are restricted to the far right lane on two-lane highways in the state.

Under Tincher’s proposal, any vehicle other than a large truck would be able to use the left lane only to pass or overtake a slower moving vehicle. Motorists would be required to complete the maneuver within one mile.

“If passing cannot be accomplished within that distance, the overtaking motor vehicle must return to the right hand side of the roadway,” Tincher wrote.

HB1372 is in the House Roads and Transportation Committee.

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