Kentucky Residents Along Route 151 Should Be Safer After Truck Ban

December 5th, 2016 by Attorney Julie Butcher

Semi-trucks are now banned from traveling on state Ky. 151 due to action by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, according to the Lexington Herald Leader. Though this area will see fewer dangerous trucks they simply will go elsewhere to reach their destinations. This is an example of pressure being put upon state officials due to citizen action and legal action in order to improve safety.

The temporary ban involves vehicles with trailers 53 feet long or 8½ feet wide from the two lane road in Anderson and Franklin counties which has been the site of several accidents involving commercial vehicles. Trucks that are smaller than the size limits are not affected and may continue to use the road.

The decision took place in April after the state was given emergency authorization from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The federal agency, part of the Department of Transportation, is allowing Kentucky to delete the route, known as Graefenburg Road, from the National Truck Network on an emergency basis for safety concerns. The National Truck Network lists approved state highways for commercial truck drivers. The road has been part of the network since 1982.

A statement released by Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Greg Thomas states a “deliberate review of all safety factors and recommendations” indicated that immediate action to limit truck traffic on Route 151 is justified and should have “minimal impact” on local businesses. He commended FWHA for expediting the order. State official say they want this temporary ban to be made permanent.

A group of residents living along Ky. 151 filed a legal action in Franklin Circuit Court last month to compel the state to ban tractor trailers from traveling on a segment of the road. The lawsuit comes after numerous accidents on the road.

  • A large truck ran off the road and crashed into the home of a resident in 2013.
  • A year later a commercial truck hauling grain alcohol went off the road and spilled its load onto private property.
  • There have been six times as many commercial truck accidents on Ky. 151 than on U.S. 127 in Anderson County from 2010 to 2015, according to Kentucky State Police data.

There may be any number of other local routes that should also be off limits to large commercial trucks, perhaps one close to you. The Kentucky roads listed on the National Truck Network can be found here and are featured on this state map.

The state, along with the federal government, is able to prohibit dangerous trucks from rural roads where many commercial truck accidents happen. The question for Kentucky residents and government officials is how much carnage is acceptable and how many lives need to be lost before action takes place?

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck in Kentucky, call the Julie Butcher Law Office at 859-233-3641 or fill out our contact form to talk about your case and your legal options.