Left Lane Drivers Move Over!

March 29, 2006 – Posted at 4:14 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- It's not unusual to come across a motorist hogging the left lane for no apparent reason, other than to intentionally frustrate those trying to pass. Road rage can be common on four lane highways and it's simply a courtesy to remain in the right lane.

Have you ever been driving on a four lane highway when you come upon someone just creeping along in the left lane? It's not only dangerous, it's also illegal.

"The left lane, or the inside lane of a four-lane highway, is for passing only, that's Arkansas law. Four lanes are designed to let traffic move freely, and that is why the left lane is designed primarily for passing. If a vehicle should approach you and you are in a left lane, the law requires you to change into the right hand lane to let the faster traffic move," said Sgt. Benny Cox of Arkansas State Police.

And you better move on over if you see lights flashing. Emergency vehicles always have the right-away.

"If there is an emergency vehicle on the shoulder of the highway, a police car or an ambulance or anything like that, the law requires you to change to the inside lane or the left lane of a multi lane highway if possible. If you can't, then you can go on by cautiously. But we've had several troopers killed in automobile accidents while they were sitting on the side of the road during a traffic stop," said Sgt. Cox.

But the bottom line, remember to be a safe and cautious driver...and unless you have to pass, there is no reason for being in the left lane.

"You are just not supposed to be driving in the left lane, it's for passing. When you are impeding traffic in the left lane then you are in violation of the law and we do stop vehicles and issue citations for that," said Sgt. Cox.

Missouri state law also requires slower traffic to keep to the right and prohibits "obstruction of the regular flow of traffic on any state highway."