Truck accidents involving commercial carriers are some of the most devastating catastrophes on the road. In an effort to reduce the number of truck accidents in Milford, many states have created truck lane restrictions to separate large trucks from general traffic. Connecticut is one of them. If a truck driver violates truck lane restrictions in Connecticut and gets into an accident, the trucking company could be financially responsible.
According to the General Statutes of Connecticut Section 14-298, the Office of the State Traffic Administration (OSTA) has the legal authority to control truck traffic within the limits of Connecticut as necessary for the protection and safety of the public. State law gives the OSTA the right to make regulations in agreement with local traffic authorities regarding the use of through truck traffic if it is necessary to protect the public.
If the OSTA determines that prohibiting trucks on any street or highway is necessary due to an imminent threat to the public, the office has the right to impose a prohibition. The OSTA can also place and maintain traffic signals and road markings that are deemed to be in the interest of public safety. This includes a sign prohibiting or restricting trucks on certain roads. This sign is white and black and typically states, “No Thru Trucks.” These signs prohibit tractor-trailers as well as delivery vehicles and commercially owned trucks, with no exceptions.
If the OSTA finds that some types of trucks are safe, such as lighter trucks, it will not use a No Thru Trucks sign. Instead, it will install a weight limit sign for trucks, along with a sub-plate that states, “Exempt Delivery or Service on This Street.” This type of sign is used for roads in Connecticut where through trucks are prohibited according to weight class.
In Connecticut, if a local traffic authority in a city, town or borough wishes to request a truck lane restriction or prohibition, it can submit a request to the executive director of the OSTA for consideration. The OSTA will investigate to determine if the street or highway in question is located in a place that makes it a through truck route. If so, it will determine if through truck traffic is safe for the public.
The investigation will look at the width of the road, the number of curves, sightline restrictions, volume of traffic, speed limits and other elements to determine the safety of truck traffic. If it is determined that the street or highway is not adequate for trucks, the OSTA can prohibit truck traffic. However, it must find a reasonable alternate route first and, in most cases, get the agreement of all cities or towns affected before enacting the prohibition.
Over the years, the Office of the State Traffic Administration has passed prohibitions and restrictions against large truck traffic on hundreds of streets and highways throughout Connecticut. You can find the current list on the OSTA’s website. The rules are broken down by municipality. The list has the roads impacted and the distance of each prohibition. In addition, General Statutes Section 14-230 prohibits commercial trucks from using the far-left lane on designated highways that have three or more lanes. The penalty for doing so is a fine of $88.
Truck lane restrictions in Connecticut are in place for the safety of the public. If a truck driver violates these rules, he or she could cause a truck accident, possibly leading to death. If you get injured in a truck accident that takes place somewhere a large truck lawfully should not have been, contact a truck accident attorney in Stratford for legal assistance. You may be entitled to financial compensation from the trucking company’s insurance provider.