Missouri lane restriction takes effect Thursday

| 8/27/2008

A left-lane restriction for heavy trucks in the Missouri cities of Kansas City and St. Louis goes into effect Thursday, Aug. 28.

The Missouri Highway Patrol will begin enforcing the lane restriction for trucks with a gross weight in excess of 48,000 pounds on “urbanized” roadways that have three or more lanes in one direction.

Highway Patrol Lt. John Hotz said enforcement begins with an educational period.

“We’ll be doing what we can to educate first and then enforce the statute as we go along,” Hotz told Land Line on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

Penalties for being in the left lane will vary depending on the seriousness of the offense, he said.

A violation that causes a crash will be considered a Class A misdemeanor. A violation that threatens to cause a crash will be considered a Class C misdemeanor, Hotz said. Citations and warnings will be issued accordingly.

Gov. Matt Blunt signed the lane restriction into law in July as part of a larger bill that included a number of transportation provisions.

Provisions of the new law also going into effect Thursday include an extra 400-pound allowance for trucks equipped with idle-reduction technology; authorization for local enforcement of truck rules; and a requirement for ignition interlock devices to be installed on the vehicles of repeat drunken drivers.

– By David Tanner, staff writer