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Proposed Bill Would Restrict Trucks to Right Lane on Highways

truck driver driving on right side of highway

A proposed bill making its way through the New Jersey Legislature would restrict large commercial trucks from operating in anything but the right lane on major state highways.

As reported by, the bill – AB 4470 – is intended to reduce the risks of serious truck accidents on New Jersey highways. Some key features of the law include:

  • The law would apply to commercial trucks that weigh 10,000 pounds or more.
  • The right-lane restriction would only apply on highways that are two or more lanes wide.
  • Penalties would be doubled for large trucks operating in the left lane of any highway, from the current $100-$300 to $200-$600. Drivers would also be required to pay the fines in person, rather than online or by mail.

While lawmakers who support the measure say it would further protect New Jersey motorists from the risks posed by large trucks, the trucking industry hasn’t agreed.

According to trucking companies and their lobbyists, the measure would make highways more, not less, dangerous because it would apply to too many trucks, including trucks “as small as a contractor’s van.” The result, they claim, would be traffic jams created by a wall of trucks and smaller vehicles jockeying around them. Trucking groups also stated the law would slow deliveries and the movement of goods.

Truck-Specific Laws Can Make for Safer Roads

As a firm that represents victims of truck accidents across the state, our team at Levinson Axelrod supports this measure. That’s because we’ve seen the devastating effects of truck accidents first-hand and know that large commercial trucks greatly increase risks of catastrophic injuries and wrongful death when they are involved in accidents.

By restricting these massive machines to the right lane of highways, the law would protect New Jersey motorists from dangers posed by trucks operating at higher speeds. Additionally, trucks operating in center and left lanes often don’t move over for other vehicles, which leads many motorists to pass on the right – an act that is both dangerous and a traffic violation.

Over our firm’s decades in practice, we’ve seen many laws come and go. We’ve also seen many laws that specifically apply to commercial vehicles, including regulations for maximum cargo weight and securement requirements, limitations on the number of hours truckers can drive, and more. These laws have made an immense difference in protecting pedestrians and passenger vehicle motorists from devastating accidents. And, like the latest proposed measure, they too were largely opposed by the trucking industry and companies that tend to put profits over people.

Levinson Axelrod, P.A. represents truck accident victims across New Jersey from multiple office locations. If you have questions about a potential case, we’re available to help. Call (732) 440-3089 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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