House Bill proposes 10 mph reduction for trucks traveling along interstate highways

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – If a Baton Rouge lawmaker gets his way, tractor trailers and school buses will travel at a slower speed along interstate highways.

HB 465 filed in the legislative session by Representative Steven Carter establishes maximum speed limits for certain motor vehicles on interstate highways. The bill reads that any person operating a school bus, truck-tractor, trailer, semi-trailer or any combination of these vehicles will have to drop at least 10 miles below the posted speed limit.

Carter is a member of the Legislative Transportation, Highways, and Public Works Committee. Local Representative Terry Landry is the committee’s current vice chairman. Rep. Landry says he needs to examine what the bill is designed to accomplish. “As well intended a bill it maybe, it may have some negative consequences.  It may have an impact on commerce.  It may have an impact on congestion of the traffic.  We got to look at this thing,” says Landry.

Canadian farmer and truck driver Mark Noble has logged more than 30 years of long distance driving. Noble says he doesn’t support the bill. Noble explains the problem is drivers already have limitations on how long they can drive in a day.  “It’s been my experience where they have done that and all you end up seeing is actually more accidents from the frustrated truck drivers,” adds Noble.

In the past, a number of major accidents have involved big trucks. Trucks equal thousands of pounds on the highway competing for road space. “My truck is govern at 65 mph which is a reasonable speed for any truck,” says Noble.

Also, Landry has served as head of the Louisiana State Police.  Landry understands traffic and the interstate. “There has to be a reason rather than arbitrarily saying we want trucks to go 10 miles below the regular speed limit.  That’s not adequate enough and I don’t think the committee would be in kind to follow up and pass that type of legislation,” adds Landry.

If approved, the proposed bill directs responsibility for posting the speed limit change to the Department of Transportation and Development.

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