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Truck-only lanes under study

April 13, 2009
Trucks and cars don’t mix. It’s an argument that safety advocates on both sides have fought for years. Each side is capable of pulling out facts that support their arguments. Trucks are deadly. Heavier trucks are even more so. Drivers of automobiles ...
Trucks and cars don’t mix. It’s an argument that safety advocates on both sides have fought for years. Each side is capable of pulling out facts that support their arguments. Trucks are deadly. Heavier trucks are even more so. Drivers of automobiles aren’t properly trained to drive safely around trucks. They don’t understand blind spots, stopping distances, etc.

The list goes on and on. I’m not intending this entry to become an indictment of either side. Instead, it’s to focus on a study that four states are conducting to separate trucks and cars.

Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Missouri have signed an agreement to use $5 million in federal funds to study the prospect of a commercial truck only route along 800 miles of Interstate 70, according to the Associated Press.

It’s an idea I wholly support. Some trucking opponents of the plan say they’re afraid the states may fund the project through tolls, which in turn would raise freight rates as those toll fees are eventually passed along to consumers.

The concept is not new. I drive to work each day on a highway that stretches from central Connecticut to the New York border and bans trucks. It’s a nice, easy drive with good visibility, and most importantly, I don’t have to worry about a trucker slamming on his brakes because some idiotic driver in a fancy sports car (stereotyping, I know) is weaving in and out of traffic recklessly.

With that said, the idea of reversing that concept and creating truck-only lanes seems like a good idea at this time. The advantages are easy to see: safer highways, not just from the elimination of a potential conflict with that idiot driver, but also from truckers themselves who are not worried about what other drivers are doing, instead secure in the knowledge that their road companions are professionals in their field; and quicker delivery times because of less traffic congestion.

Whether the idea turns out to be reality in this country, I think the time has come to realistically, and objectively, study truck-only lanes.

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