DOT looking to ban trucks from Kentucky highway due to frequency of truck crashes

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Kentucky-route-151The Federal Highway Administration is looking to ban trucks from using Kentucky Route 151 because of safety concerns due to a recent rise in single-vehicle truck accidents.

Kentucky 151 is often used as a shortcut from I-64 at Exit 48 to connect with U.S. 127 north of Lawrenceburg, Ky., according to FHWA. On April 26, FHWA approved the emergency deletion of the highway from the National Network, but the deletion isn’t final until after a public comment period in the Federal Register for FHWA to collect more information on the impact of its removal.

FHWA says the predominant crash type seen on the highway in question involves trucks veering off the road where the it and shoulders are too narrow for trucks. Kentucky State Police crash data shows that KY 151 experiences six times more single-vehicle truck and bus crashes than U.S. 127, the nearby alternate route. Half of all accidents on KY 151 between 2010 and 2015, according to the data, are “ran off roadway” single-vehicle accidents, while there was not one of these accidents on U.S. 127.

“It has marginal lane widths (11 to 12 foot) and shoulder widths (1 to 2 foot) and includes sections with horizontal curvature that negatively impact sight distances and safe operation” of trucks and buses, FHWA says in its Federal Register notice.

FHWA says removing KY 151 from the National Network would increase truck traffic on U.S. 127 by approximately 434 trucks per day, and the percentage of trucks on U.S. 127 would increase from 7 to 9 percent of total traffic.

FHWA says U.S. 127 is a four-lane divided highway with 12-foot lanes, 10-foot paved outside shoulders, 4-foot paved inside shoulders and a 40-foot median.

Comments can be made on the rule until June 15 by visiting the docket here. FHWA is asking commenters to answer 10 questions when commenting. The questions can be found here.

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