Despite the failure
of a statewide bill that would’ve put lane restrictions on all vehicles in
Florida, two counties are pushing for left-lane regulations that would only
apply to trucks.
In May, Gov. Jeb
Bush vetoed legislation known as the “Road Rage Reduction Act,” which required
all vehicles – including four-wheelers – to stay out of the left lane, except
when passing, avoiding accidents or other extenuating circumstances.
“There’s no evidence
to suggest that it’s a real problem, number one,” Bush told The Associated
Press. “Number two, I couldn’t get over the fact that this bill would
punish law-abiding citizens that were going below the speed limit within the
law. They would be penalized at the expense of someone who was going above the
But now, the state’s
Department of Transportation has OK’d lane restrictions on trucks on Interstate
95 in St. Johns County near Jacksonville, and officials in Hillsborough and
Sarasota Counties are planning to ask the DOT for similar restrictions on I-75
in their area as well, the St. Petersburg Times reported.
DOT regulations in
Florida state that lane restrictions can only be implemented on roads with six
lanes or more, with which both of these roads comply.
“When you put trucks
in the right two lanes, and leave the left for non-trucks, the number of lane
changes are reduced,” Mark Wilson, DOT deputy traffic operations engineer, told
But not all
Floridians believe the restrictions will prevent crashes.
“Car drivers in left
lanes who want to exit the highway must cross over several lanes full of big
trucks,” James Nolan, a trucker from Ft. Lauderdale, told WTLV-TV. “This
causes accidents all of the time.”
restrictions are already commonplace on three other stretches of Florida
roadway. Seventy miles of I-95 in Palm Beach and Broward Counties have been
restricted since 1990. About 140 miles of I-75 in Sumter, Marion, Alachua,
Columbia and Suwanee Counties have also had restrictions since 1998.
On May 2, officials
with Florida’s Turnpike restricted trucks out of the far left-most lane on 27
miles of the roadway in Miami-Dade County.