OOIDA members to Ohio lawmakers: truck lane restriction wrong

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 11/12/2013

An Ohio House panel discussed a bill on Tuesday, Nov. 12, that would ban trucks from using the far left lane on certain highways. Two OOIDA members made their voices heard at the meeting.

Current Ohio law requires any vehicle moving at less than the normal speed of traffic to stay to the right. Exceptions to the lane rule are made for preparing to turn or to overtake and pass another vehicle.

The House Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee met for the third time on Tuesday afternoon to discuss a bill, which would mandate that large vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds stay in the two right-hand lanes on stretches of highway with three or more lanes in the same direction.

Exceptions to the rule would include situations when a trucker is preparing to exit the roadway from the left.

Owner-operator and OOIDA Senior Member Scott Grenerth of Arlington, Ohio, attended the hearing and shared with lawmakers his concern about the bill.

He brought attention to the state’s existing law on lane usage and questioned why new rules are sought instead of simply holding the Ohio Highway Patrol accountable for poor enforcement of the existing rule.

“Why are we encouraging more government involvement in our lives instead?” Grenerth asked committee members.

He also addressed prior remarks from Rep. Marilyn Slaby. The Copley Republican, and bill sponsor, said that large trucks constantly block all lanes during her trips from the Akron area to Columbus.

“If this is a ‘constant’ problem, please contact (the Ohio Highway Patrol) to let them know they are sorely lacking in enforcing our current law,” he testified.

Instead of passing new laws, Grenerth said he would like to see Ohio be a leader in educating all drivers about the best and safest driving practices.

“I do not want to see us passing legislation which leaves drivers uneducated and arbitrarily punishes professionals who are working to make a living in an already difficult environment.”

Owner-operator and OOIDA Life Member Gordon Johnson of Fredericktown, Ohio, also testified on the bill. He wasn’t available for comment immediately after the hearing.

The committee didn’t vote on the bill.

OOIDA encourages Ohio truckers to contact their state Representatives to voice concerns about the bill.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Ohio, click here.

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