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Freeway driving in California can be stressful, considering the speed of vehicles and the presence of large vehicles and semi-trucks.   California has passed laws not only limiting the speed of trucks, but also the lanes of travel that these larger vehicles and trucks are permitted to use.

The larger vehicles are generally limited to a maximum speed of 55 miles per hour on all freeways.   The same large vehicles/trucks are limited to traveling in the “right-hand lane,” depending upon the number of through lanes in that same direction on the freeway.  For freeways/highways with three or fewer travel lanes [excluding car pool lane(s)], trucks are permitted to drive only in the right-hand lane, other than when passing a slower moving vehicle.  If there are four or more through lanes, trucks are permitted to drive in the two right-hand lanes.  At no time are the larger vehicles/trucks permitted to drive in the fast lane.

California has also instituted what is referred to as “truck only lanes.”  These “truck only” lanes exist to separate the larger vehicles from passenger vehicles on the freeways, and are constructed for safety purposes such as speed and traffic flow.  There are “truck only” located generally on the Interstate 5 Freeway in both Los Angeles and Kern County.

California has also implemented Vehicle Code §21654, for slower moving vehicles.  This Vehicle Code section provides that any vehicle traveling at a speed less than the normal flow of traffic, shall be drive in the right-hand lane, except when overtaking or passing another vehicle.  A designated “truck lane/slow vehicles only” exists in the County of San Bernardino, on the Interstate 15 Freeway near Yermo.  This “truck lane/slow vehicles only,” is accessible by all vehicles, not just larger vehicles and trucks.

It is generally “driver beware” on the California freeways!  If you are involved in a traffic accident, whether with another passenger vehicle or a larger vehicle/truck, the attorneys at Heiting & Irwin are available to consult with and assist in your potential legal action.

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