Connecticut bill tightens rule on left lane use

January 14, 2019

Keith Goble


A bill at the Connecticut statehouse intends to keep clear the far left lane of the state’s busiest highways.

Connecticut law already requires any vehicle moving at less than the normal speed of traffic to stay to the right. Exceptions to the lane rule are made for situations that include preparing to turn or to overtake and pass another vehicle.

Rep. Kurt Vail, R-Stafford, has introduced a bill to further limit left lane use for motorists and truck drivers. Specifically, HB5061 would prohibit staying in the far left lane on any state highway.

Exceptions listed under current law would continue to apply.

A related effort from 2017 failed to advance from committee.

Advocates for keeping the left lane clear, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the National Motorists Association, say that blocking the outer lane, whether intentional or not, results in reduced road safety and efficiency.

Vail’s bill awaits consideration in the Joint Committee on Transportation.

Rest areas

Another issue that could be taken up for consideration by legislators covers rest areas throughout the state.

There are seven rest areas located along interstates 84, 91 and 95 in the state.

Sponsored by Rep. Tami Zawistowski, R-East Granby, HB5162 calls for setting up a task force to study “alternative funding sources” to maintain rest areas on state highways.

Zawistowski has said her intention is for the state to look into possible private investment, such as advertising, exclusive vending contracts, and the ability to sell merchandise and naming rights.

The Motor Transport Association of Connecticut supports the pursuit of safe parking.

MTAC President Joseph Sculley has said that truck drivers need safe, legal places to park their trucks to comply with federal mandates for rest and sleep breaks.

Road treatments

One more bill of note address chemical road treatments for ice removal.

HB5280 would have the Connecticut Department of Transportation analyze the effects of chemical road treatments for ice removal when applied to highways. The agency would also be responsible to evaluate alternative road treatment techniques and products.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Connecticut, click here.