FOX19 Investigates: Cut-in-the-Hill's 'illegal lane hogs' - Tucson News Now

FOX19 Investigates: The 'illegal lanes' at Cut-in-the-Hill

Officials say the main objective of the lane restriction is to speed up traffic and maintain safety, but truckers continue to break this law every day without being ticketed. Officials say the main objective of the lane restriction is to speed up traffic and maintain safety, but truckers continue to break this law every day without being ticketed.
The restrictions begin as trucks cross into Kentucky (A) and end at Exit 189 - Kyles Lane (B). The restrictions begin as trucks cross into Kentucky (A) and end at Exit 189 - Kyles Lane (B).
KENTON COUNTY, KY (FOX19) -

Did you know there's a lane restriction along the I-71/75 Cut-in-the-Hill that prevents commercial truckers from driving in the left two lanes? The main objective is to speed up traffic and maintain safety, but truckers continue to break this law every day without being ticketed.

This restriction was put into place in 2006, but according to the Kentucky State Police (KSP), they issued only 20 citations in the last year.

FOX19 captured video of truck after truck disobeying the law. We caught nearly a dozen of them, just in a 15 minute span.

"I don't obey the laws. I'm not going to start. When we get some common sense legislation out here on the road then maybe I'll obey the laws, not until," said Harold Raymond.

Truckers including Harold Raymond say he's well aware of the lane restriction that keeps him from driving in the left two lanes for about a three mile stretch, but just doesn't agree with it.

"We can only use a couple of lanes, and we get stuck at 25 to 35 miles-per-hour up the hill when we could easily go around other people and go on down the road and make for a safer situation. This is ridiculous," said Raymond.

So is anyone keeping truckers like Raymond from driving in these lanes? FOX19 reached out to a handful of law enforcement agencies who patrol the Cut-in-the-Hill. Officer Brian Gilliam with Kentucky State Police says the main reason they can't issue as many tickets as they'd like is because of a lack of manpower.

"Weekly, we're lucky to have guys out there monthly," said Gilliam.

Gilliam says their commercial vehicle enforcement region is responsible for 23 counties across the Commonwealth. He says they only have nine road officers trying to cover those counties on any given day.

"When you have guys working Cut-in-the-Hill, you need at least two guys working it. One guy making the traffic stops and then the other guy being a decoy for the safety of the other one running his blue lights," explained Gilliam.

So what's the consequence for breaking the rule? Gilliam says a citation costs nearly $160.

Trucker Darrell Roberson says he obeys the law every time. It's not the fine that scares him, it's a safety concern.

"I try and stay in the right lane because of slow moving traffic. I'll move slow and climbing that hill, I need to be in the right lane to keep from having an accident," Roberson conveyed.

Nancy Wood with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) says this restriction was put in place as a safety measure and to keep traffic flowing.

"Cut-in-the-Hill is known for having its share of accidents because of the steep grade and rain or snow or anything like that. We really try to put a lot of cautions there," said Wood.

As for the northbound lane, Wood says there's no restriction. Drivers will notice 'steep grade' signage along the highway, but that's it.

"The momentum is there with them. The momentum is not there with them going up the hill. Warning them of the steep grade just for them to be aware to keep their vehicle in control," added Wood.

Officer Gilliam says truckers shouldn't take this law lightly. They have a new class of recruits graduating soon that could be assigned to help cover the Cut-in-the-Hill.

"The presence is good, but it's not going to solve 100 percent of the issues," said Gilliam.

Officer Gilliam says KSP has looked into adding cameras overhead to monitor the truck lane restriction. Just like cameras on a traffic light, truckers would receive a ticket in the mail for violating the rule.

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.

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