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Extend truck lane restriction to other roads

Extend truck lane restriction

Trucks will be restricted to the two left lanes of the Pacific Motorway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast from tomorrow (August 1, 2017) but it should extend to other highways around our nation.

The move in Queensland has been initiated to prevent gridlock during the Commonwealth Games, after which it will be “evaluated”.

In recommending the change, the Queensland Government says they looked at interstate and international experience with truck lane restrictions.  

Meanwhile, a trial of slower truck speeds on the Monash Freeway in Melbourne is planned to also included lane restrictions later this year.

It’s not rocket science. The system has worked in many countries for decades.

It’s particularly safer for vulnerable motorcyclists as it gives us a bigger buffer from the juggernauts with all their blind spots for bikes!Extend truck lane restriction

Unfair laws?

Truckies are not happy and say the new laws are unfair and could cause fatal crashes with merging traffic.

However, trucks do not have to stay in the far left lane. They are only restricted to the two left lanes so they can sit in the second lane and merging traffic will not be a problem.

The truck lane restrictions apply from the Springwood (Exit 20) to Robina (Exit 82 Southbound and Exit 79 Northbound).

Restrictions allow trucks to overtake, but they have to stay in the two left lanes, even if traffic is stopped or slowed. They can only travel in the right lane to avoid an obstruction.

The fine for the driver is $126 and three demerit points, or $630 for their businesses. 

Extend truck lane restriction

Extend to other roads?

There are many other three- and four-lane highways around the nation where similar truck lane restrictions should apply.

Last year, the Victorian Government started a trial of a 90km/h speed limit for trucks on a section of the Melbourne Monash Freeway.

However, as the below official animation video shows, there is no benefit in traffic flow. It even shows cars and motorcycles undertaking and making dangerous manoeuvres around trucks spread across the four-lane freeway.

A Victorian Transport Workers Union spokesman says the trial failed because it resulted in other vehicles performing dangerous manoeuvres around trucks.

A spokesman for Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan confirms the speed reduction “did not support the benefits of a truck and car differential speed limit below 100km/h”.

“The second phase of the Monash Speed Trial, where trucks will be banned from travelling in the far right lane, will commence when road works are completed later this year,” he says.

Extend to more vehicles?

Road safety and traffic could also be improved if other slow-moving vehicles were also limited to the left lane (right or slow lane in countries where they drive on the right side of the road).

Trucks, caravans, buses and towed vehicles are restricted to the “slow” lane in European autobahns and only allowed to pass in designated areas.

These passing areas are never on hills as it takes trucks longer to pass each other going up or down a hill.

How many times have you been stuck behind two trucks blocking both lanes?

This simple system of lane restriction would separate trucks from smaller traffic, particularly vulnerable motorcycles and would allow the rest of the traffic to move more smoothly without being hindered by trucks.Extend truck lane restriction

Truck dangers

Trucks are responsible for the deaths of more than 300 people a year in Australia and 4500 a year in the US.

The International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion shows trucks account for 8% of US highway traffic, yet are involved in 11% of fatal road crashes.

Professor Bill Russell, deputy director of Melbourne University’s Australasian Centre for the Governance and Management of Urban Transport, has said Australians would be safer if more freight was moved by rail.

His research showed that moving 10% more freight by rail would save 25 lives in Australia every year, and 100 serious injuries such as quadriplegia or brain damage. Yet, road freight is increasing while rail is decreasing.

  1. The trucks should run at the same speed as the cars. At speeds above 40 kmh, the extra mass of the truck makes no difference to injuries or fatalities. Getting hit by a truck at >40 results in death anyway. But the speed difference is the big killer. What really needs to be done is to keep the trucks in one lane only except in exceptional circumstances. And both truckers and “do gooder” car drivers drive side by side to massage their precious little egos. It’s that feeling of power, you see, that they ordinarily do not get in their miserable little lives.

  2. Finally enforcing rules that are just common sense! Except for Victoria that is there’s no sense at all when they do anything related to road safety.

  3. The animation for the 90 kmh restriction is ridiculous, if you are going to restrict one group of vehicles to 90 on a 4 lane highway , then you must also restrict them to lanes 1 & 2 , and therefore lanes 3 & 4 are for the faster moving vehicles . Also the vehicles in lanes 1 $ 2 must leave about a 5 car length gap between each vehicle to allow for merging vehicles , also any slow moving vehicle can use lanes 1 & 2 , and you must inforce the ‘ keep left unless overtaking ‘ rule and then the system will work

  4. I think they should extend it much further. On the M1 for example – there are 4 lanes. How about trucks limited to the two left lanes and cars to the left 3 lanes. Bikes only on the 4th!
    But seriously how about bring back the “keep left unless overtaking” signed that mysteriously went missing on the Centenary and many other highways may years ago. Anyone on the right lane not overtaking and holding up traffic should be fined $1000 for the first offense, imprisoned for the second!

  5. Of course they’re not happy. Being asked to drive with due care and attention, within the road rules and using good judgement is completely beyond many road users. Common sense doesn’t come into it. If it was common everybody would have it and clearly they don’t!
    People get killed due to stupid and selfish behaviour coupled with poor driving/riding skills and the complete inability to make safe decisions. No such thing as “accidents”in my book.

  6. Yup. Gateway bridges are a prime example, as is the noth end of the gateway, Gympie road, & Bruce highway.
    Slower vehicles including granddad who wont drive over 85 in a 100 zone should be included.
    More keep left unless overtaking is needed up here & NEEDS TO BE ENFORCED! ITS A LAW, NOT A F’ING SUGGESTION!
    They’re everywhere down south, & almost everyone moves back over to the left, unlike in QLD.

  7. There is another MAJOR difference in the EU with regards to trucks and Caravans and that is the left hand lane (slow speed lane their right hand lane) is NEVER terminated. Why would anybody want to drive a truck down the M1 and be in the left lane because that lane is run into the armco so many times its not funny. In the EU they terminate the high speed lane if they are cutting back on the number of lanes and they do that with a merge not a give way a merge. Trucks can always stay in the slow lane without having to lane hop all the time.
    Honestly who could have come up with a more stupid idea than terminating that lane if you want slower moving heavy traffic to stay in the left lane.

    1. Exactly.
      Never believe safety “experts” who quote one isolated fact to support their idiotic rules
      while neglecting the whole picture.

      Thanks for your enlightening comment.

  8. The statement that “trucks are responsible for the deaths of more than 300 people per year in Australia” is a complete disgrace. It implies that the truck drive is at fault, when most often he is just caught up in an event caused by an incapable/incompetent/impatient driver. These truck drivers are mostly professional and well experienced in what they are doing and what it takes to get safely from A to B.
    Yes they may be responsible for some of these incidents, but not all. Whoever made that comment should be called to account and if they cannot provide the evidence, then a printed apology should be forthcoming.
    I don’t drive trucks now, but drove B-Doubles for seven years without a “traffic accident”, but did manage to avoid killing a few idiots that almost took me out.

  9. Trucks rarely give me a problem.
    Cars do every day on my way to work.

    Restricting trucks to 90Ks is so stupid you don’t even have to think about it. All it does is clearly demonstrate the “safety” authorities who came up with this idea are halfwits.

    The majority of motorway accidents occur in the left lanes, merging from on ramps or slowing down to get on off ramps.
    Putting trucks here will help solve overpopulation.
    Merging is a simple skill ignored by 99% of population.
    Curved side mirrors are dangerous & are a major accident contributor when merging.

    Fining drivers for blocking the right lane creates more problems
    because then they creep past, 1km/hr faster then you,
    then pull back in front of you to avoid being fined for laneblocking
    then back off the throttle – to avoid being fined for going a few k over the speed limit.

    Beaming laneblockers works.
    Sitting behind them without doing anything means you are just as bad as them.

    Russian media star Olga Pronina was killed by hitting vertical posts supporting armco.
    Initial police reports say she was not speeding at the time, contrary to media blurb.
    4th pic in link below clearly shows devastating damage to her bike.

    If you’re interested in safety, get rid of vertical posts, speedo gazing, curved side mirrors & safety experts.

  10. Cars are dangerous to motorcycles & cause traffic jams.
    Motorcycles never do.
    In the interest of Road Safety & traffic flow, the right lane should be motorcycles ONLY.
    We have pushbike only lanes, do the same for motorcycles.

    In many countries (Malaysia is one) motorcycles travel for free on tollways.

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