FDOT rolls out awareness campaign for little-known travel restriction on large trucks

Keeping you safe on the roads – there's now a campaign to keep semi trucks OUT of the left lane. News4Jax reporter Lena Pringle joins us again to explain why this is the perfect time of year to bring awareness to this issue.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Keeping you safe on the roads, there’s now a campaign to keep semi-trucks out of the left lane.

The Florida Department of Transportation is pumping the brakes on large trucks traveling in the left lane of a highway with a new safety awareness campaign just in time for the holidays.

While some will follow the CDC guidelines to avoid travel this holiday, several people will get out on the roads.

FDOT and the Florida Highway Patrol are working to keep semi-truck drivers out of the left lane, to make traveling safer for all drivers on the road.

FDOT says Florida has a successful history with truck lane restrictions throughout the state.

Restrictions have been in place on I-95 in South Florida for 30 years, and 20 years on I-75 from the Florida/Georgia border to the Turnpike.

Studies conducted by District 4 and completed in 1997 indicated that truck-involved crashes are reduced by these restrictions.

“Truck lane restrictions are all about safety. You know there are several studies that show that reducing the amount of weaving the amount of lane switching prevents crashes on the interstate. Like I said earlier some studies show reducing this kind of behavior can lead to fewer crashes. Lane changing is one of the primary causes of collisions on the interstate,” said Troy Roberts, FDOT Spokesperson.

The busiest travel days of the year are quickly approaching.

“I think this is an important conversation to have year around. But primarily this time of year especially the next few weeks are some of the busiest times on the roadways. More people are traveling for Christmas and New Year’s,” said Roberts.

AAA estimates 81 million people will travel by car this holiday season.

With that many people hitting the roads, it is important to remember that traditionally the left lane is used for passing.

If a truck driver is caught traveling in this lane, they will be fined a minimum of 121 dollars.

“Restricting trucks to certain lanes improves the safety of motorists but doesn’t really impede the efficiency of traffic,” said Roberts.

The Florida Highway Patrol will be working with FDOT to make sure truck drivers are following the rules. Click here for an interactive map on truck lane restrictions.

As the roads get busier FHP and FDOT are encouraging all drivers to follow the posted speed limits and don’t drive distracted.