Florida’s Turnpike extends left-lane truck ban

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Beginning Feb. 1, tractor-trailers will be banned from the left lane of a 40-mile stretch of Florida’s Turnpike through South Florida. The intent is to increase highway safety by reducing the number of lane changes and improve traffic flow by keeping trucks in the right and center lanes.

The restriction will be enforced from the Lantana toll plaza south to the Golden Glades interchange. Thirty black-and-white signs that read, “No Trucks Left Lane,” are being installed on this stretch of the tollway, spokeswoman Nichole Kalil says. In 2005, the turnpike imposed a similar ban on its Homestead extension, and while traffic has grown, the number of crashes has remained steady, Kalil says.

The Florida Highway Patrol supports the truck restriction, Lt. Roger Reyes says. FHP troopers and the state’s Motor Carrier Compliance officers will ticket truck drivers caught violating the ban, which carries a fine of up to $130.