Special to the Register
Gainesville Daily Register
Agents of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) are set to install additional “Left Lane for Passing Only” signs on all highways with a speed limit of 75 miles per hour or higher, according to a new media release.
This process, which updates a procedure that has been in place for several years, could lead to changes on highways such as Highway 82, which winds through Cooke County.
“We are in the middle of reevaluating roads like 82 and trying to see where it would be safe to increase the speed limit,” said TxDOT public relations officer Adele Lewis. “Nothing else (locally) strikes me as qualifying for that. But TxDOT is in the middle of studying roads like 82; we are looking at U.S. highways, which 82 is, and state highways.
“The commission could approve that by the end of this year,” Lewis added. “If it is on the list, it will be approved and the signs will be installed. You’ll see a slowdown in Lindsay and in Gainesville.”
Currently, state law requires TxDOT to post these “passing lane” signs on highways where slower traffic is asked to stay in another lane.
“We want to make sure that travelers on our highways have a safe, efficient and enjoyable trip,” said Carol Rawson, TxDOT's traffic operations division director. “Reminding the public that slower moving vehicles should use right lanes and that passing vehicles use left lanes will help improve safety on our highways.”
The release said agency leaders think the expanded use of these signs will allow highway users to reach their intended destinations more safely and without undue delay due to slower moving vehicles. This, they feel is more important than ever with an increasing number of Texas highways that have speeds of 75 miles per hour or higher.
“Engineers generally consider highway travel to be the safest when vehicles are traveling at the same speeds,” Rawson said. “The use of these signs will help ensure that vehicles traveling at the posted speed limit will not be impeded or forced to make excessive lane changes when encountering a slower vehicle.”
TxDOT representatives expects installation of approximately 3,400 new “Left Lane for Passing Only” signs to be completed by summer 2013. The signs are enforceable, and violators can be stopped and ticketed by law enforcement.
For more information, contact TxDOT Media Relations at MediaRelations@txdot.gov or call (512) 463-8700.