Ohio Might Ban Big Rigs From Left Lane

by Jana Ritter - Published: 10/17/2013

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

Highway truck

Although many other states already have the same law, currently on Ohio highways, tractor-trailers can ride in any lane the driver chooses. There are obviously some truck drivers that are opposed to being restricted, but there are other truck drivers who welcome the idea of the bill passing into law.

“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.

 “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.

“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 confirmed that more than 40 other states already have laws on the books, banning large trucks from driving in the far left lane. It was also added that under her proposal, there would be exceptions allowed, such if there is a left exit, an accident blocking the right lanes or construction. According to her spokesman, Slaby feels the law would help traffic move smoother, especially with an increased speed limit on some Ohio highways. Also, the fact that some truck companies limit how fast their drivers can go.

But many aren’t bound by such restrictions and don’t really want to start. “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.