The restriction affects I-85 from U.S. 29 to Hwy. 20 in Anderson and Greenville counties and from U.S. 129 to Hwy. 57 in Spartanburg County. Part of a pilot truck safety program, the new rules take effect Oct. 1.
The state Transportation Department says other states have found that keeping trucks in the right lanes cuts down on accidents. However, Rick Todd, president of the South Carolina Trucking Assn., notes that the far right lane is dangerous because truckers have to deal with vehicles entering and exiting the highway.
"We don't generally support restricting a professional driver's choice of the safest lane in which to operate," Todd told the Associated Press. "But we're going to cooperate with the DOT during the pilot phase of the project."