Truckers traveling along South Carolina interstates could soon face new restrictions on their use of the far left-hand lane.
Current South Carolina 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 situations that include preparing to turn or to overtake and pass another vehicle.
A bill in the House Education and Public Works Committee would limit circumstances when commercial vehicles could use the left lane.
Sponsored by Rep. Bill Crosby, R-Charleston, H3463 would require large trucks to move to the right when another vehicle is behind them. However, trucks could use the left lane while overtaking and passing other vehicles.
Other exceptions would include situations when traffic conditions, weather and congestion make it impractical to stay right.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation would be responsible for posting signage to alert truck drivers about the lane restriction.
The Senate voted unanimously to advance a separate bill to suspend size and weight rules for commercial vehicles during a state of emergency declared by the governor.
S358 would apply to trucks weighing up to 90,000 pounds or up to 12 feet wide. Affected loads would have access to non-interstate routes for up to 120 days following the emergency declaration.
Restrictions on travel time along interstates and non-interstates would also be suspended for up to 30 days.
The bill awaits assignment to committee in the House. If approved there, it would move to Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk.
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