Keep it moving, proposed law could mean $100 fine for left-lane cruising
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - There’s a reason why the left lane of an interstate is known as ‘the fast lane,’ it’s a lane reserved for passing other, slower drivers. North Carolina already regulates the use of the left lane, now state lawmakers want to up the ante to make sure drivers aren’t cruising in the fast lane. If they are caught it could mean up to a $100 fine.
The purpose of the left lane law isn’t arbitrary, there are safety issues posed by clogging up the left lane. By getting out of the lane other drivers are able to pass slower drivers on the left, which is the proper way to pass in the United States. It’s important to keep in mind speed limits apply no matter the lane drivers are in.
Getting passed can cause reactions from drivers but it is also important to know when a driver on the left is overtaking another vehicle, it’s illegal to speed up and prevent passing.
Current N.C. law makes it illegal to drive in the left lane at any speed lower than the posted speed limit unless drivers are preparing for a left-hand turn. House Bill 724 would add new guidelines for the rules of the road to keep left lanes clear.
The bill would make it illegal to drive in the left-hand lane of a controlled access highway except for overtaking other vehicles --- along with a few other exceptions.
Those exceptions include:
(1) No other vehicle is directly behind the vehicle in the left lane.
(2) Traffic conditions and congestion make it impractical to drive in the right lane.
(3) Snow and other inclement weather conditions make it safer to drive in the left lane.
(4) Obstructions or hazards exist in the right lane.
(5) The vehicle must be driven in the left lane when preparing to exit.
(6) The vehicle is a law enforcement vehicle, ambulance, or other emergency vehicle engaged in official duties or is a vehicle engaged in highway maintenance or construction operations.
(7) The vehicle is a tractor-trailer commercial motor vehicle combination that is unable to move into the right lane safely due to another vehicle overtaking or passing on the right.
(8) The vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle that is unable to move into the right lane safely due to a highway grade or another vehicle overtaking or passing on the right
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