Texas law prohibits driving in the left lane of multiple lane roadways unless for the purposes of passing other vehicles or making a left turn. Violators of this statute clog freeways and highways causing needless obstructions to the smooth flow of traffic. Those people who clog the left lane also create a dangerous situation for other drivers as traffic builds around them. This violation is also frequently cited in road rage incidents leading to crashes.
Because this statute is relatively unknown and is rarely enforced, law enforcement in our area is conducting an enforcement effort to get people out of the left lane unless they are passing or turning left. Department of Public Safety troopers in Montgomery and Fort Bend County are the lead agencies on this initiative. A copy of the statute, specifically Texas Transportation Code 545.051 (b) is attached. Officers from multiple agencies will hit the roads this Wednesday and if they see violators, traffic warnings or traffic tickets will be issued. Please see the copy of the statute below.
545.051. DRIVING ON RIGHT SIDE OF ROADWAY. (a) An
operator on a roadway of sufficient width shall drive on the right half of the roadway, unless:
(1) the operator is passing another vehicle;
(2) an obstruction necessitates moving the vehicle left of the center of the roadway and the operator yields the right-of-way to a vehicle that:
(A) is moving in the proper direction on the unobstructed portion of the roadway; and
(B) is an immediate hazard;
(3) the operator is on a roadway divided into three marked lanes for traffic; or
(4) the operator is on a roadway restricted to one-way traffic.
(b) An operator of a vehicle on a roadway moving more slowly than the normal speed of other vehicles at the time and place under the existing conditions shall drive in the right-hand lane available for vehicles, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, unless the operator is:
(1) passing another vehicle; or
(2) preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
(c) An operator on a roadway having four or more lanes for moving vehicles and providing for two-way movement of vehicles may not drive left of the center line of the roadway except:
(1) as authorized by an official traffic-control device designating a specified lane to the left side of the center
of the roadway for use by a vehicle not otherwise permitted to use the lane;
(2) under the conditions described by Subsection (a)(2); or
(3) in crossing the center line to make a left turn into or out of an alley, private road, or driveway.
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