An effort in the Nebraska Unicameral to restrict large trucks to the
right on some of the state’s multilane highways has died. An effort to keep
most drivers out of the left lane on certain highways met the same fate.
The bill – LB816 – was rejected by senators in the Transportation and
Telecommunications Committee. The bill’s sponsors wanted to prohibit big rigs,
buses and other large vehicles from being driven in the far-left hand lane of
highways with at least three lanes going in each direction. Sen. Carol Hudkins
of Malcolm said the goal of the legislation was to keep vehicles that cannot
stop or start quickly out of that lane.
Last month, the transportation panel also killed a bill that sought to
keep all drivers from lingering in the passing lane. The ban would have applied
only if the speed limit were at least 65 mph.
Sponsored by Sen. Marian Price of Lincoln, the measure – LB909 – allowed trucks to drive in the left lane to pass vehicles in the right lane,
make left turns, exiting or if the volume of traffic made it impossible to
safely merge back into the right lane.
Senators voted down the bill after several, including the committee
chairman, Sen. Tom Baker of Trenton, pointed out current state law seems to
cover the issue.
Nebraska law already requires vehicles to drive in the
far right-hand lane if they are traveling slower than the normal speed of
traffic. Another law prohibits drivers from “intentionally impeding the normal
flow of traffic by traveling side by side at the same speed while in the
adjacent lane,” the Lincoln Journal Star reported.