Truckers Must Stay Out Of The Left Lane On Restricted Florida Roadways
Melbourne, Fla.—Did you hear already about the truck lane restrictions? The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Florida Highway Patrol are teaming up to warn truckers that they must stay out of the left lane on certain roadways, or face a minimum $120 fine.
When those driving large trucks see a No Trucks Left Lane sign, they must move over and remain in the right lane while the restriction is in place.
According to an official FDOT final report on Operational Performance for Freeway Truck-Lane Restrictions, some advantages and disadvantages of truck restrictions are described as follow:
1) Truck lane restrictions may improve traffic operations and safety by separating slower trucks from faster passenger cars. However, they may cause uneven deterioration of the highway pavement.
2) Restricting trucks from the left-lane(s) removes slower trucks from the faster inner (leftmost) lane(s); however, it causes a concentration of trucks on the right lane(s) and blocks the visibility of signs to drivers in the inner lanes.
3) Restricting trucks from the right-lane(s) requires trucks to use the faster lanes. It is usually used as a temporary measure to prevent pavement deterioration. Since trucks have to shift over to the left lanes, safety concerns arise near interchanges and weigh stations where lane changes are required.
4) Route restrictions are mostly used in urban areas to remove trucks from congested roads or to enhance safety by detouring hazardous material cargo from heavily populated corridors. However, they may increase the truckers’ operating costs by increasing vehicle miles due to greater circuity incurred in travel paths.
5) Time-of-day restrictions prevent trucks from using certain lane(s) or entire facilities during particular time periods. This may force trucks to travel on detour routes with insufficient design standards for increased truck volume, resulting in additional truck- related crashes or delays on these routes. Since most trucks tend to travel during off-peak periods to avoid delays, banning trucks on certain routes may only have marginal effects on freeway operations and safety.
6) Differential speed limits (DSL) are designed to reduce the speed at which trucks are allowed to travel. While some believe that this alternative may reduce crashes involving trucks rear-ending other vehicles, other have argued that DSL increases speed variances and lane changes on roadways, which may, in turn, increase the chances of a crash occurring. The actual benefit of DSL remains questionable and many agencies have removed DSL.
As a result of existing operational and safety studies, truck-lane restrictions have proven to have a positive impact on freeway safety, plus, tend to increase speed differentials and reduce density on steep uphill sections.
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