Law: Left lane is NOT for driving

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JONESBORO, Ark. – If you’re driving in the left lane of the highway, you’re breaking the law.

However, if you are passing slower traffic, you’re OK.

Arkansas State Police’s Facebook page recently posted a widely-shared reminder that the law states one must drive on the right side of the roadway – the right lane.

Evidence shows that slowing down and changing lanes is more dangerous than speeding, state police said. According to statistics, lane changes account for 10 percent of highway accidents.

Research has found that the strongest predictor of an accident is a variance in the average speed of traffic. Data has found that a car moving five miles slower per hour than the rest of traffic has a greater chance of causing an accident than one that is moving five miles per hour faster.

It doesn’t take much time driving across NEA to notice many drivers cruise in the left lane, often motioning for faster drivers to ‘pass them.’ However, even if the unaware-driver is traveling at the speed limit, this is considered impeding traffic, per Arkansas Code Annotated 27-51-301. It states, “vehicles to be driven on right side of roadway.”

According to the statute, the only times a vehicle should be in the left lane are when passing another vehicle, when the right-lane is closed, when a roadway is divided into more than two lanes (three, four, etc…, then the furthest lane to the left becomes the passing lane).

“Motor vehicles shall not be operated continuously in the left lane of a multi lane roadway whenever it impedes the flow of other traffic,” the statute says.

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