Truckers Push Back on Virginia Lawmaker’s ‘Stupid’ Bill to Impose Lane Restriction When it Snows
Richmond, VA — A Virginia state legislator’s plan to force truckers to travel in the right lane only during winter weather events is drawing criticism within the trucking community.
In the wake of the debacle along Interstate 95 earlier this month that left thousands of travelers — including hundreds of truckers — stranded for more than 24 hours, Virginia State Senator David Marsden (D-Fairfax) wants to impose new restrictions on commercial vehicles.
Marsden, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, is crafting a bill he says will require truckers to travel in the right lane along state roadways during snowstorms.
“If it’s snowing, it applies,” Marsden told local outlet ABC 8 News in a recent interview. “Just like there is a requirement in Virginia that, if it’s raining, you have to have your windshield wipers on.”
Earlier this week we experienced severe weather conditions in Virginia, which caused large trucks to slide and jackknife and resulted total blockages on I-95. I’m working on a bill to help avoid this problem in the future. 1/2
— Dave Marsden (@SenDaveMarsden) January 8, 2022
The long-time state lawmaker argued that since a wreck involving six big rigs precipitated the nightmare, truckers should face additional restrictions.
“It was all the jackknifed trucks that created the problem and I think they need to own that part of the problem and be willing to make this minimal change,” Marsden said.
It wasn’t long before truckers began sounding off on social media.
“This is the dumbest idea I’ve heard,” responded Monte Wiederhold, owner of a Toledo, OH-based Reever Transport. “As a trucker of 48 years I seldom run the right lane in bad weather.”
Widerhold, who operates a fleet of five trucks, continued, “The right lane due to traffic will generally freeze up faster than the left lane. If you want to see some major crashes just pass stupid legislation like this!”
Many other comments echoed similar sentiments.
As Transportation Nation Network (TNN) reported in the aftermath of the icy disaster, many people placed the blame for the 40-mile backup on former Governor Ralph Northam (D), along with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Virginia Department of Emergency Management and Virginia State Police.
“Blame is on you and your state government,” Tim Menard wrote on Facebook in response to Marsden. “Your State receives Federal funds to update and maintain interstates. Try using the money for that. Salt trucks and plows should have been deployed earlier, instead all of you went MIA.”
While state transportation officials say they are continuing to investigate the entire incident, TransportationNation.com will keep an eye on Marsden’s proposed legislation.