New Law Bans Trucks From Right-Hand Lane On Victorian Freeways

Mike Stevens | Mar 3, 2010

TRUCKS WILL BE banned from the right-hand lane on Victoria's multi-lane freeways in a new plan announced by Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas today.

Except for buses, the restrictions will apply to all heavy vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Mass over 4.5 tonnes. Mr Pallas said the restrictions will improve safety and encourage better road sharing across the state.

“The Brumby Labor Government is listening to community concerns about road sharing and taking action to introduce lane restrictions for trucks to help create a safer and more efficient driving environment,” Mr Pallas said.

“Restricting trucks from the right-hand lane on freeways with three or more lanes of traffic in each direction is aimed squarely at making some of the busiest roads in the state safer, while ensuring the needs of all drivers on these roads are met."

Research by RACV showed that 83 percent of motorists believed trucks should be restricted from the using the right-hand lane of any freeways with three or more lanes in each direction.

The law will come into effect by the middle of this year, starting with the Princes Freeway between the Western Ring Road interchange and the Beach Road interchange at Lara, followed by the West Gate and other of the state's major arterials.

“The 38 kilometre stretch of the Princes Freeway is just the start, with lane restrictions for heavy vehicles also to be rolled out on the West Gate Freeway, west of Williamstown Road to the M80 Ring Road, the Eastern Freeway and EastLink.

“Other roads, including CityLink, the M1 corridor and the M80 Ring Road, are being investigated as part of the lane restrictions plan.”

Mr Pallas acknowledged the importance of the freight industry, but said that it should not be given preferential treatment over safe road practices.

“Freight plays a vital role in the state’s economy, and trucks do have a place on our roads. However, we are also dedicated to improving safety and amenity and minimising the negative impacts of freight transport,” he said.

“The new restrictions aim to address the significant impact freight operations have on traffic flow, safety and the liveability of Melbourne and Victoria.”

The laws, which will be enforced by Victoria Police and VicRoads, will include educational campaigns and extensive signage on affected freeways.

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Filed under: police, Victoria Police, vic police, road safety, vicroads, tim pallas, News, freeway, pallas

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  • Wheelnut
    Wheelnut says,
    6 years ago
    Trucks aren't the main offender when it comes to blocking the RH lane..When Trucks are in the RH lane its usually in order to:
    Pass a slower moving vehicle or to try and avoid a car that is about to turn off or has just turned on to the road
    Then as soon as they have passed said obstacle the majority of truckies merge back into the LH Lane as soon as it is safe to do so.

    However; there is the odd occassion when a truck is stuck out in the RH lane - but thats usually because people in cars continue to undertake the truck and passi t in the LH lane or don't leave enough room for the truck to return to the LH lane

    They need at least 8-10 car lengths to merge safely - so just wait back off let them in the LH lane then overtake them in the RH lane

  • Sams says,
    6 years ago
    Wheelnut, I agree with you 100%. They should go further and restrict right hand lane for overtaking only and increase the speed limit for cars to at least 120kph.
  • Wheelnut
    Wheelnut says,
    6 years ago
    Except that our "roads" are almost unbearable at 80-100Km/h.. they would become down right dangerous at 120Km/h+.. particularly if you hit a pot hole etc

    Not only that but look at the extremely low level of driver skill on our roads - I mean the number of people who slam on not to mention the the lack of the use of their indicators
  • says,
    6 years ago
    just another law made up by someone who has never had to drive a truck on the freeway with all these idiot car drivers who dont understand what it takes to manover around slow traffic... how about banning those who use the right hand lane under the speed limit....
  • brissim says,
    6 years ago
    When I just read the heading, I thought this was one of the silliest ideas I had heard of for a while - totally unworkable. But then in the detail I read that this new law only applies where you have 3 or more lanes. That makes a lot more sense. Trucks will have at least 2 lanes to drive in, leaving the far right hand lane clear for cars, hopefully moving at the speed limit.
  • Kieran says,
    6 years ago
    All we need now is the other states to cotton on. Here in QLD, we have about 30km of four-lane freeway leading North out of Brisbane - a road I frequently use. Every time, I see instances of slow-moving vehicles in every lane, which are usually (but not exclusively) trucks. Furthermore, I see truck drivers attempting stupid things, like trying to overtake each other up a steep incline, and in doing so, reducing the entire freeway's traffic to a crawl as they huff and puff up the hill... then they proceed to rocket down the other side of the hill at well over the speed limit.
    I am what Top Gear call a "Christian motorist", but when I've got a 5-hour drive ahead of me, I'd really appreciate being able to drive uninterrupted at speeds somewhere in the vicinity of the limit, not 20 or 30km/h slower...

    So, yes. Heavy vehicles should be banned from the far-right lane on any road where there are more than two lanes each way, and any vehicle in the right lane driving more than 10km/h under the limit should be fined for holding up traffic (unless in unfavourable weather)
  • Kale says,
    6 years ago
    The whole of Europe has the "no trucks in outside lanes" and it works well. Should go further and prohibit trucks from overtaking where not safe, like when the road is going up hill! We do not even have a traffic sign that says "Trucks No Overtaking Here" or "Trucks Overtaking Permitted".

    Why treat trucks same as cars? They are not the same. They carry much more mass (and have much more kinetic energy), take longer to stop and cannot swerve safely to avoid an accident.

    There should be at least 20kmh speed differential mandated on open roads between cars and trucks. Do it either by increasing the speed limit for cars to $120kmh or decreasing the truck speed limit to 80kmh. An no, all of you truck cowboys, you will not die driving slowly you will die of boredom. Believe it or not trucks are speed limited to 80kmh in Eurpoe including the The Land of the Autobahn (Germany) and they all seem to get along quite nicely.

    Also, where country road merges two lines into one, why not merge us to the left, not to the right! Europeans merge right but they drive on the right. Think about it.

    Our traffic "experts" should visit European countries, not just keeping back to england or the US.

    Anyway, for what it is worth - this is a small step in the right direction. Trucks are very dangerous and need to be driven carefully. I respect the truckies, but our regulation sucks.
  • says,
    6 years ago
    I hope they are going to not allow cars, especially those doing less than the speed limit, in the middle lane then, whats the law about not overtaking on the left (NSW)
    Overtake to left of vehicle, $141fine & 2 demerit points (Road Rules 2008 Rule 141 (1)

    So perhaps slow moving car drivers who use the middle lane will be fined $350
    Will trucks be permitted to use the right hand lane to pass these slow moving cars or will they be expected to drive at 10, 20, 30 kph under the speed limit until the slow moving car decides to move to the left hand lane ?

    Maybe, just maybe, the 'keep left unless overtaking' law should be enforced for *all* with regards to the right hand lane.
  • says,
    6 years ago
    Travelling in mid-western USA in 2004 I was impressed by the courtesy all drivers showed each other.

    As well, the I90, I94 and I294 freeways to & from Chigago O'Hare Airport (a very busy place with 5 in-use runways) have 3-5 lanes each way.

    Speed limits within 'greater Chigago' or Cook County are generally 55mph (88km/h) with 45mph (72km/h) at congestion points (the I90-I94 merge for example), and 65mph (104km/h) in rural areas.

    Trucks are banned from the inner-most lanes. Police cruisers rigidly enforce these and the transit lanes. Offenders are pulled off the freeways for processing and it can take 1-2 hours before release time. The potential time delay is a much greater deterrent than the US$250 fines...

    See photo...

  • says,
    5 years ago
    This is possibly the worst idea Victoria has come up with. I commute on the M1 everyday and Trucks are usually the worst offenders for speeding. I am happy that they are in the right lane so they can speed past everybody without tailgating. Just this evening whilst driving home (on the very first day the law came in) I saw a car getting tailgated and highbeamed by a massive truck in the left lane. It will just promote drivers to move into the right lanes to get out of the way of the trucks!

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