New Jersey Bill Would Ban Heavy Trucks from Passing Lanes

We should all drive more carefully around big trucks, or at least more warily. A collision with a tractor-trailer or semi-truck can result in serious personal injury and can be fatal. The danger is potentially increased on highways when these large vehicles move into passing lanes. Now, New Jersey legislators are considering a proposed law that would limit this activity, with the aim of reducing these risks.

The pending bill would, with certain exceptions, prohibit trucks weighing 10,000 pounds or more from operating in the left lane of a roadway that has two or more lanes going in the same direction. Current law prohibits such trucks from operating in the farthest left-hand lane of a roadway having three or more same-direction lanes. The law would also set fines of $200 to $600 per violation, which are double the current fines of $100 to $300.

Such heavy trucks would, however, be allowed to use the left lane in any of these circumstances:

  • For up to a mile when and to the extent necessary to prepare for a left turn
  • For up to a mile when necessary to enter or leave the roadway from the left lane
  • When reasonably necessary in response to emergency conditions, such as poor visibility, snow, accidents or the presence of emergency vehicles

Proponents of the bill say that keeping big trucks in the right-hand lane will reduce the number of dangerous lane changes, which can become causes of collisions. Opponents say that the proposed law would result in merging problems and restrict access to businesses for cars and trucks, which in turn would create safety risks and economic harm. The trucking and fuel merchants industries argue that the bill would cause traffic slowdowns, especially with regard to vehicles entering and exiting highways. This, they say, would delay the shipment of goods to and from ports and terminals around the state.

There is one inescapable fact that even the opponents of the bill cannot dispute. When there is collision between a heavy truck and a car or SUV, the injuries and property damage are usually much worse than in a collision between two smaller vehicles. If you are in an accident with a big truck, proving liability on the part of the driver, truck owner and other defendants can be very complex and demanding. Trucking companies and their insurers have teams of specialized lawyers employed to reduce or avoid payment of damages. You will need an experienced truck accident law firm to help you navigate your case with a view to attaining optimal results.

If you have been hurt in an accident involving a big truck, Seigel Law in Ridgewood, New Jersey wants to get you the financial compensation you need. Call us at 201-444-4000 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

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