Drivers in west Michigan need to be aware of a new police crackdown on left lane drivers. Slow drivers using the left lane on major roads and freeways can be frustrating to other drivers wanting to pass but starting now and through the end of April, drivers who use the left lane are subject to being pulled over by the state police for a lane use violation. The stop will be mainly for the purpose of educating drivers who are often unaware the left lane is supposed to be reserved for passing only and shouldn’t be used as a driving lane. Drivers using the left lane obstruct traffic flow and can cause other motorists to attempt to pass in a more dangerous fashion. Plus, it’s just plain annoying!
The crackdown comes after numerous reports and complaints from motorists traveling west Michigan roadways. Many drivers have no idea that the left lane is reserved for passing vehicles only and cooperate fully when they understand the rules of the road. The offending driver could be issued a citation but it most cases the stop will be used to educate drivers on proper diving laws. Here is the actual law:
257.634 Driving on right half of roadway; exceptions; driving on roadway having 2 or more lanes for travel in 1 direction; traveling on freeway having 3 or more lanes for travel in same direction; ordinance regulating same subject matter prohibited; violation as civil infraction.
(1) Upon each roadway of sufficient width, the driver of a vehicle shall drive the vehicle upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:
(a) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing that movement.
(b) When the right half of a roadway is closed to traffic while under construction or repair or when an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the highway. A driver who is driving on the left half of a roadway under this subdivision shall yield the right-of-way to an oncoming vehicle traveling in the proper direction upon the unobstructed portion of the roadway.
(c) When a vehicle operated by a state agency or a local authority or an agent of a state agency or local authority is engaged in work on the roadway.
(d) Upon a roadway divided into 3 marked lanes for traffic under the rules applicable on the roadway.
(2) Upon a roadway having 2 or more lanes for travel in 1 direction, the driver of a vehicle shall drive the vehicle in the extreme right-hand lane available for travel except as otherwise provided in this section. However, the driver of a vehicle may drive the vehicle in any lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the same direction of travel when the lanes are occupied by vehicles moving in substantially continuous lanes of traffic and in any left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the same direction of travel for a reasonable distance before making a left turn.
(3) This section shall not be construed to prohibit a vehicle traveling in the appropriate direction from traveling in any lane of a freeway having 3 or more lanes for travel in the same direction. However, a city, village, township, or county may not enact an ordinance which regulates the same subject matter as any provision of this subsection. The driver of a truck with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds, a truck tractor, or a combination of a vehicle and trailer or semitrailer shall drive the vehicle or combination of vehicles only in either of the 2 lanes farthest to the right, except for a reasonable distance when making a left turn or where a special hazard exists that requires the use of an alternative lane for safety reasons.
(4) A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction.