Proposal: Toughening Up Laws for Truck Drivers

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Truck drivers traveling through Ohio could have new laws to follow if a bill now going through the state legislature becomes law.

They’re big and sometimes travel slower than other vehicles, but right now on Ohio highways, tractor-trailers can ride in any lane the driver chooses. That could change.

“When you’re out here driving a truck, you gotta be more conscious of the people around you because you know what; you got a big vehicle. You’re operating a truck that can instantly kill somebody. It don’t take but a second, a split second,” said truck driver, Edmond Riddle.

Ohio State Representative Marilyn Slaby from Copley introduced a bill Tuesday that would only allow vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 lbs to travel in the right two lanes of a highway, if there are three or more lanes available.

“Sometimes you have to get in that lane, only if it’s momentarily you know, because if you’re trying to get around somebody that’s going slower than the speed limit, you try to get over that way and get back over,” said truck driver, Curtis Harris.

“Other states already do that. I don’t see it as that much of a problem. I have been pulled over before, given a warning ticket about being in the left lane. I don’t see it as being that much of a problem,” said truck driver, Bill Blackwood.

A spokesman for Slaby told FOX 8 that more than 40 other states already have laws on the books, banning large trucks from driving in the far left lane.

Under her proposal, there would be exceptions allowed, such if there is a left exit, an accident blocking the right lanes or construction.

“They should put trucks in the left lane cause the trucks are in the center and right lane and people are trying to merge on and trucks have got to get over,” said truck driver, Phillip David.

According to her spokesman, Slaby feels the law would help traffic move smoother, especially with an increased speed limit on some Ohio highways. And some truck companies limit how fast their drivers can go.

“I’m an owner/operator, so my truck, I can do the speed limit; now I’m sitting behind them because it’s only two lanes and the third lane is wide open and I can’t get in there to get around these guys that are holding me up,” said truck driver, Dewhite Washington.

If the bill becomes law, a first offense would cost the driver $100.

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