If you drive on Interstate 26 in Buncombe County, you have probably noticed some new signs that are meant to improve safety and alleviate congestion.
The signs put up Wednesday morning warn that trucks with three axles or more are not allowed to drive in the left lane on I-26 from just west of the Long Shoals exit to just before the French Broad River.
"The trucks slow down and lose momentum as they go up the hill," Highway Patrol Trooper Mark Corbin said.
The new regulation comes after a 10-month-long study by the Department of Transportation found trucks driving an average of 30-35 mph during peak times.
"When the speed limit is 60, so you’re actually backing up the interstate when it shouldn't be," Corbin said.
Though the change is only for about a two-mile stretch, the road to getting these restrictions has been a long one.
"We’ve been asking for quite some time,” Corbin said. “Now, it’s finally come about."
On the first day the signs were put up, troopers issued about 30 citations.
Some truck drivers we spoke with said it’s not always easy to shift lanes.
"A truck as big as this is kind of hard to move around," truck driver David Waugh said.
Corbin said it’s a matter of safety for other drivers.
“If they’re not paying attention for some reason, and the truck's traveling 30 mph on the left lane, and they just run into the back of it, then that's a pretty serious issue," Corbin said.
A citation could cost truckers about $240.