Are Trucks in the Fast Lane a Danger in Milwaukee

Trucks, Semis, left lane, fast lane, traffic fatalities, Illinois Tollway, Milwaukee Freeways

 When driving on I43  or the other freeways in the Milwaukee area, I am  amazed at how many Big Rigs are in the left lane.

Sometimes they are tailgating the car in front of them, in an attempt to get the car to move over,  at other times, they are doing the speed limit or less.

When they are speeding and tailgating, the danger is obvious, and pictures of over-turned semis on the Milwaukee freeways are almost a common sight on the evening news.

When they are just occupying the left lane, they obstruct the view ahead for drivers behind, and there is often dangerous jockeying by the cars, as they switch lanes to pass the semis on the right.

In my younger days over 35 years ago, I learned to drive semis, and drove over the road.

I was taught that a semi or heavy truck only used the left lane for passing, and not for cruising.  

If my memory serves my correctly, I believe that in most states, and certainly in almost every urban area (other than Milwaukee), semis, heavy trucks, and vehicles with trailers, are restricted from the left lane.

If you drive on the tollway or freeways in Illinois, you will notice that those kinds of vehicles are prohibited from the left lane.

I know that most Milwaukee area drivers think the Illinois folks are crazy -- and they do go rather fast down there ---  but surprisingly, the traffic fatality rate on the 286 mile Illinois Tollway System, was lower than on the much smaller Milwaukee freeway system, in 2009.

Traffic Fatalities are down almost everywhere, due to safer vehicles, better engineering of roads and road signs, and an emphasis on DUI enforcement.  

I think they could be still lower in Wisconsin, if we adopt the same rules regarding semis and heavy trucks in the fast lane.  That is not where they belong.


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