The state Senate on Wednesday voted in favor of legislation to prohibit motorists from driving for extended periods of time in the left lane. Sen. Kenneth Corn, co-author of the measure, said the new law would result in improved traffic flow, reducing the number of drivers who impede traffic.
Under House Bill 1368, drivers must use the right-hand lane unless passing.
“This prohibits a driver from parking in the far left-hand lane and impeding traffic,” said Corn, D-Poteau. “We want to add some teeth to the existing statutes and allow Highway Patrol officers to issue tickets to drivers who use passing lanes inappropriately.”
Corn said that it is a common misconception that current law allows the Highway Patrol to issue tickets for driving slowly in passing lanes.
“Under current law, the Department of Public Safety has no authority to enforce it,” Corn said. “Reducing roadway congestion is an important priority for both commerce and public safety. There’s no question that this law will ease congestion on our most crowded roadways, making travel safer and more efficient.”