If you have ever found yourself getting angry while stuck behind a driver who dawdles in the left lane, you are not alone. Motorists on Michigan highways are increasingly frustrated by slow moving vehicles traveling in the left lane, and they are speaking out.
After receiving a flood of complaints, both telephoned in to police posts and posted on social media, the Michigan State Police announced that they are conducting a program to educate and cite drivers who settle in the left lane and stay there for miles. Michigan law MCL 257.634 addresses proper lane use on the highways, stating “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.” This law also governs lane use by semi-trucks, tractor trailers, and personal or commercial vehicles hauling trailers by directing that “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.” The law makes it clear that the left lane is for passing, but it seems many Michigan drivers are unaware of the law, or simply disregard it. The practice of traveling in the left lane causes traffic congestion particularly on two-lane highways, and has become a real hazard for motorists. Drivers who find themselves stuck in congested traffic caused by left-lane violators become frustrated and angry, and often take chances to get around these vehicles. With the announcement of the crackdown on enforcement of left-lane laws, Michigan State Police representatives indicated that the majority of the drivers they cited for violations were unaware that these regulations existed, prompting the new program. While the Michigan State Police maintains that this enforcement program is primarily focused on driver education, they warn that citations may be issued for drivers in violation. Fines and fees associated with the citations average well over $100.00, and may include additional citations for other related violations. If you or someone you know has been ticketed for being in violation of laws governing the usage of the left lane in Michigan, it is prudent to discuss your case with an attorney. The skilled counselors of Collis & Griffor have an excellent understanding of Michigan traffic law and will meet with you to discuss your case, and work for your best possible outcome. Contact us today to schedule a personal consultation.