BCTA speaks out against proposed left lane ban

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NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. – A movement threatening to ban trucks from the left-hand lane of the Upper Levels Highway is not likely to be taken seriously, the B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA) reports.

In the wake of a couple of high-profile accidents involving trucks, councillor Jim Cuthbert has called for a bylaw that would restrict trucks weighing more than 10,000 kgs to the right-hand lane.

If successful, the bylaw would be the first of its kind in Canada.

BCTA president Paul Landry conducted more than 10 media interviews on the subject insisting that there are good safety reasons to not support the left-hand lane ban recommendation. Most importantly, trucks must have the flexibility to travel in more than one lane to safely allow other vehicles to merge into the traffic flow, he advised.

The provincial government has also suggested the rule is not likely to be introduced.

Since the section of highway in question falls under provincial jurisdiction, the bylaw would have to be approved by the province.

Ministry of Transportation spokesman Jeff Knight told local media it’s not the first time the suggestion to ban trucks from the left-hand lane has been floated.

“The ministry looked to see what is done in the U.S. and the ministry found that where the right-lane restriction is in place in the United States is particularly on larger interstate highways where they have at least three lanes going in each direction and that leaves the two right lanes for trucks and a third lane for faster moving vehicles or even more lanes depending on the highway,” he told the North Shore News.

He added that the ministry found that the important consideration in those jurisdictions is that trucks still have two lanes of travel each way.

“That allows truck drivers to change lanes and pass slower moving vehicles. It’s also to enable other vehicles that are coming on to the highway to merge safely in to traffic from the on-ramps,” he said.

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