October 2017

Attention truckies! The Pacific Motorway (M1) between Springwood (Exit 20) and Robina (Exit 82 Southbound and Exit 79 Northbound) now has new truck lane restrictions aimed to ease traffic, improve travel times and make the road safer for all vehicles crossing this path. This was initiated by the Department of Transport and Main Roads in preparation for one of Queensland’s biggest events, the Commonwealth Games happening in April 2018. However, the restrictions may stay in place even after the event according to Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey. The implementation of the new M1 truck lane restrictions started on August 1, 2017.

As Queensland’s busiest road, the M1 from Brisbane to Gold Coast serves over 148,000 vehicles daily, which includes 12,000 big rigs. This makes the M1 a key freight route. According to the new regulation, trucks weighing over 4.5 tonnes will be restricted to the left two lanes on the M1 in both directions. They are allowed to use the right lane only for certain situations such as avoiding road obstructions and only if it is safe to proceed.

The new rules were put in place based on research on road safety used in parts of Europe and the United States where they managed to decrease road crashes that involve heavy vehicles. They found that when trucks are restricted from certain lanes of multi-lane motorways, there are fewer crash incidents. Moreover, it promotes better road-sharing experience for all vehicles and traffic flows more smoothly and efficiently.

However, not everyone is happy with the new rules. According to some drivers, with the new M1 truck lane restrictions, vehicles in the right lanes may have difficulty exiting the motorway as the left lanes will be full of trucks blocking their way. The Queensland Trucking Association also finds the imposition of three demerit points off the wall for a congestion issue.

The new M1 lane restrictions will surely bring about birth pains to truckies and businesses alike as the imposition will have a direct impact on driving and freight schedules. Despite this, adherence to the new rules will certainly promote safer and better road experience for everyone.

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