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Can truckers drive in the fast lane in Ohio?

There is little doubt that the trucking industry is important for the country's blossoming economy, spurring intercity and interstate trade. Trucks transport goods from one place to another and travel on the same roads and highways that other motorists go on. According to the current law in Ohio, truck drivers can drive in any lane on the highway, although the president of the Ohio Trucking Association states that truck drivers tend to stay in the right lanes and avoid the fast lanes. A proposed bill would now make this the law. If passed, it would require vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds to travel in the two right hand lanes of a highway that has three lanes. The exception to this is if there are contrary rules already in place.

Many states surrounding Ohio have already passed similar legislation, and the Ohio turnpike in the northern part of the state also follows similar restrictions. Law makers tried to pass this bill last year as well, but it never made it to a vote. This year however, they are confident that it will be passed, primarily for safety reasons.

The major benefit of this law would be that traffic would run more smoothly without the fear of being obstructed by slow moving trucks. Opponents, on the other hand, believe that restricting trucks to two lanes might lead to more truck accidents. Truckers across the country are probably waiting to see whether the bill is passed or not. But so, too, should everyday motorists, as this law could help prevent accidents involving semi-trucks.

A truck accident is often more dangerous than crashes in which other vehicles are involved, primarily due to the size of semi-trucks. Truck drivers have different driving licenses and also different training to learn how to drive these bigger and heavier vehicles. If Ohio residents are injured in a truck accident, they may be able to hold the truck driver responsible, and perhaps even the trucking company, for failing to regulate their drivers.

Source: Dayton Daily News, "Semis may be prohibited from highway fast lane," Steve Bennish, March 12, 2015

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