Following emergency authorization from the Federal Highway Administration, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has banned oversized trucks from traveling on Ky. 151, the two-lane highway in Anderson and Franklin Counties. Commercial vehicles often use the shortcut between I-64 and US 127 to disastrous effect; large trucks are involved in accidents on the road more than six times as often as on nearby US 127.
The National Truck Network
The National Truck Network is a federal registry that determines the maximum commercial vehicle size for state highways. The emergency authorization bans commercial trucks with trailers 53 feet and longer or 8.5 feet wide and wider. Smaller vehicles will still be able to use the road. The ban is unfortunately only temporary; removal from the National Network requires formal notice in the Federal Register and a public comment period before a final petition is submitted for approval.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is responsible for notifying the affected parties, including trucking associations, local industry and law enforcement. Signs and notices will be posted to direct trucks that exceed the size limitation to an alternate route. The Cabinet is hopeful that this measure will reduce the number of accidents on the roadway, which sees more than 800 commercial every day. The oversize vehicle ban comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed by residents who live and work on the busy highway.
Outspoken citizens make a difference
According to Transport Topics:
“A group of residents who live along Ky. 151 filed a lawsuit in Franklin Circuit Court asking a judge to force the state to prohibit tractor-trailers from using a segment of the road. That suit had named the state Department of Highways and the transportation secretary as defendants. Residents along the road have seen numerous accidents. In May 2013, a big truck ran off the road and crashed into the bedroom of a house. In 2014, a truck carrying grain alcohol ran off the road and spilled the load onto private property.”
The small community of neighbors believes that the ban is a step in the right direction, but not far enough. Resident Charles Lockyer told NBC Lex 18, “The trucks should not be allowed on this road. It’s one of those things, an obvious solution, just too many people ignore.” Neighbor Tom Isaac said of the measure, “It doesn’t take all of the trucks off. And then you start splitting hairs. Well is it 53 feet long? 53 and six inches long?”
While lawmakers work to reduce the risk of an accident, residents continue to suffer the ill effects of oversized vehicles on undersized roads. Even on major highways designed to handle 18-wheelers, accidents have devastating consequences. When big trucks wreck on small roadways, the damage they cause is proportionally greater.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a commercial vehicle accident, regardless of the size of the truck, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced Kentucky commercial truck accident attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law can evaluate your case and help get you the compensation you deserve. Call 877.651.7764 or contact us today for a free consultation.