Semitrailer Restrictions Coming To Area Interstates
Drivers who travel North Texas interstates behind the wheel of a semitrailer soon will face new restrictions.
Area police will test a program that requires semitrailer drivers avoid the left lanes to remain in the center or right lanes on specific stretches of highway in Dallas and Tarrant counties.
In Dallas County, the lane restrictions will be in place along Interstate 20 between Cedar Ridge Drive and Interstate 45.
In Tarrant County, the restrictions apply to Interstate 30 from Hulen Street in Fort Worth to Collins Street in Arlington.
An unscientific poll conducted by NBC 5 found that most automobile drivers who responded support the plan. Truckers, however, think the plan could reduce highway safety because the big rigs would take up space in the right lanes, which other drivers need to merge onto or exit from the highways. The truckers said the concentration of vehicles near exit and entrance ramps would add to the risks of changing lanes.
Transportation planners said the program was not created to increase convenience, rather it was intended to make highways safer.
"Convenience was really down the road and not as important as safety," transportation planner Mike Sims said. "Safety is the issue. If we can get a safer roadway by managing how trucks and automobiles interact a little bit differently, then we've got a benefit to the driving public, and we're doing our job."
Other cites, including Houston, have similar plans in place. The program in North Texas is a test to gauge long-term plans.
The test program along I-20 and I-30 takes effect Oct. 1.
A public meeting about the test program will take place Wednesday night at 6:30 in Duncanville at the Hopkins Senior Center on James Collins Boulevard.
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