A prominent Georgia attorney is speaking out in favor of the proposed truck-only highway that would connect Atlanta and Macon.
"The state of California has instituted truck-only lanes on their highways, but Georgia would take the lead in constructing a truck-only highway," said Gary Martin Hays, an Atlanta lawyer who represents individuals injured in truck accidents. "This is an excellent step forward to reduce traffic and improve road safety."
The number of trucks on Georgia highways is expected to double by 2040, thanks to factors including the widening of the Port of Savannah and expansion of the Panama Canal. Building a new highway specifically to accommodate that truck traffic could have a huge impact on Georgia roads.
"A truck-only highway could ease traffic tie-ups along Atlanta's Spaghetti Junction, the intersection of 85 North and I-285," said Hays. "That has proved to be one of the most congested freight gridlocks for the past several years, and it's a dangerous area for trucks and passenger cars alike."
Gary Martin Hays' support for a Macon-to-Atlanta truck-only highway aimed at reducing trucking accidents and traffic congestion on Georgia highways is in keeping with both his active compassion and his experience as an attorney and safety advocate who fights to reduce the risk of trucking accidents in Georgia.
"The trucking industry plays a vital role in our economy, and most truckers are safe, responsible operators. But those who are not pose a serious danger to everyone on the road," said Hays. "Keeping the 80,000-pound trucks away from the much smaller passenger cars and motorcycles would make our highways safer for everyone involved."
Reminiscent of the Workers Project Administration (WPA) concept of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal program in the 1930s, which led to the construction of roads and bridges still often used today, the truck-only highway would be the first of its kind in the country. The building of a proposed truck-only highway is estimated at $1.8 billion, which would be funded via the gas tax that passed in 2015. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2025.
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) projects the truck-only highway would run south of Atlanta, alongside I-75 northbound, from I-475 near Macon to McDonough. The road would be toll-free and have a barrier separating truck lanes from passenger vehicle lanes. Trucks would also have their own ramps.
In the meantime, Gary Martin Hays offers a few tips for a prudent and safe travel season this summer: "Stay out of truck blind spots, never linger alongside a large truck or trailer, never tailgate trucks or buses, always use your directional signals when passing, and always exercise focus and patience."