Trucking Industry Lines Up to Oppose Plan to Charge Tolls on Interstate 70 in Missouri

By January 19, 2012 Highway Safety

As a southern Illinois semi truck accident lawyer, I was interested to read about a new proposal to charge a toll on Interstate 70 through Missouri. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Missouri Department of Transportation is considering charging tolls to cover the cost of expanding to accommodate expected increases in traffic on the highway. The tolls would apply to every driver, but MoDOT plans to charge truckers two to three times the expected toll for drivers in private passenger cars, which is expected to be 10 to 15 cents a mile. The proposal was not well received by the trucking industry and its allies in the state government — including Gov. Jay Nixon — who expressed concern that smaller carriers would be priced out of their ability to drive through Missouri.
According to Kevin Keith, head of MoDOT, Interstate 70 is near the limits of its capacity on a normal day, and often slows if there happens to be road construction or an accident. The pavement is also worn, he noted, and rural stretches near Wentzville and Kansas City need to be updated. To fix this, the agency would like to partner with a private company on one of three proposed projects, ranging in cost from $2 billion to $4 billion. The simplest would replace the pavement, add a lane in each direction and divide the highway. A second plan would, in addition, add a median and replace all the interchanges. The third and most expensive plan would add two lanes in each direction for a total of four, reserving two lanes exclusively for trucks and another two exclusively for cars. MoDOT has already secured permission from the federal government to convert the interstate to a toll road to pay for the work.
The trucking industry has publicly criticized the proposal because of the cost to trucks moving through Missouri. A big rig driving the entire length of Interstate 70 with a toll could pay as much as $90, Land Line magazine reported. However, as a St. Louis tractor-trailer accident attorney, I see some merit in the proposal. Though the most expensive plan may not be the most popular with Missourians, it does offer an attractive chance to separate heavy truck traffic from ordinary drivers traveling shorter distances. This would allow drivers to avoid terrible, catastrophic accidents with negligent truckers. Truckers who are too drunk, sleepy or distracted to drive would likely still be out there, but they could only endanger other truckers if they were in dedicated lanes, and a truck-truck accident is a much fairer match. Even the smaller projects contain much-needed highway dividers, which would prevent deadly head-on crossover crashes with large trucks.
Crashes between ordinary passenger cars or trucks and semi trucks are almost always serious crashes, because the sheer size and weight of an 18-wheeler guarantees serious damage to the smaller vehicle and the people inside. If your family was seriously hurt in a crash with a semi that you believe was caused by someone else’s negligence, you should call Carey, Danis & Lowe right away. Our Missouri tanker truck accident lawyers focus our practice on these cases because we understand how devastating they can be to victims, personally and financially. In addition to the sudden injuries or deaths in the family, victims sometimes also find themselves pressured by the trucking company and its insurer to accept money or sign papers without time to fully understand what they’re agreeing to. We protect our clients from this type of overreaching and help them get all the compensation they’re legally entitled to from the at-fault truckers and trucking companies.


If you or someone you love suffered a serious injury because of a truck driver’s carelessness, don’t hesitate to call Carey, Danis & Lowe for help. For a free consultation, send us an email or cal 1-877-67-3400.
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