Colorado Moves to Limit Truck Lane Usage on I-70 and Increase Chain Requirements

Colorado Moves to Limit Truck Lane Usage on I-70 and Increase Chain Requirements

Colorado is advancing a legislative proposal to impose lane restrictions on big-rig truckers along critical sections of Interstate 70, particularly in mountainous areas, in an effort to enhance road safety. The bill, which has garnered strong support in the state House, is now heading toward final approval.

Senate Bill 100, initiated by lawmakers from the Western Slope, not only seeks to restrict trucks from the left lane in designated high-risk zones but also mandates that truckers carry chains during the winter season from September 1 to May 31. The targeted areas for these requirements include Glenwood Canyon, Dowd Junction, Vail Pass, Eisenhower Tunnel, Georgetown Hill, and Floyd Hill, with allowances for trucks to pass in three-lane sections.

In a recent amendment, the bill also directed the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to explore the feasibility of closing roads to truck traffic during severe snowstorms. This study aims to assess both the economic and safety implications of commercial vehicle incidents in harsh weather conditions.

The measure has received backing from key legislators, including Sen. Dylan Roberts of Frisco and Rep. Elizabeth Velasco of Glenwood Springs, who emphasized the importance of maintaining open, safe roadways for the economic stability of communities along I-70. Additional sponsors include Sen. Perry Will of New Castle and Rep. Rick Taggart of Grand Junction.

Further considerations under the bill include increasing the number of chain stations and parking areas for truckers and implementing stricter speed limit enforcement in areas like Glenwood Canyon, where commercial vehicles would face doubled fees for speeding violations.

Greg Fulton, president of the Colorado Motor Carriers Association, acknowledged the collaborative effort with lawmakers to strike a balance in the bill’s provisions, highlighting the importance of ensuring the safety of truck drivers who are crucial to the delivery of goods.

The Colorado Senate must now reevaluate the bill with its amendments before it can be presented to the governor. With the legislative session concluding on May 8, swift action is anticipated.

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